AIDS --- Inventing a Virus?

Peter H. Duesberg, PhD
Article Type: 
Summer 1997
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"AIDS: The Untold Story" by Stanley K. Monteith is not exactly what it claims to be. It is hardly an untold story that by the end of 1996 over 500,000 Americans had developed AIDS, and that a million Americans would "progress to terminal-stage illness and death," because they have antibodies against HIV. But Monteith does not tell us why antibodies against HIV predict viral disease, rather than protect against it, as is the case with all other viruses. Likewise, "the tragedy sweeping Asia and Africa," where according to a missionary friend of Monteith "over 9 million children...have lost their mothers to AIDS" is hardly an untold story. But Monteith does not tell us why Africa enjoys the fastest population growth in the world --- despite HIV.

As a solution to the paradox that AIDS is 90% male, "almost exclusively...homosexuals, IV drug users" in America and Europe, but "primarily a heterosexual disease" in Africa, Monteith offers a hypothesis from the director of the Harvard AIDS Institute, Max Essex. According to Essex, there are two strains of HIV, one is heterosexual, the other male-homosexual. But neither Monteith nor Essex try to reconcile this hypothesis with an earlier hypothesis from Essex, that American/European AIDS came from Africa.

At last Monteith offers a truly untold AIDS story to a nation that has been saturated with condoms and clean needle programs by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for almost a decade now. The story holds, "that all efforts to utilize public health measures to slow the spread of the HIV-epidemic have been thwarted." The list of these enemies of the people is said to be in Monteith's new book, AIDS: The Unnecessary Epidemic with one exception: "Unfortunately, Dr. Duesberg's books, (Inventing the AIDS Virus, Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled?, AIDS, and AIDS: Virus- or Drug-Induced?), have convinced many otherwise sincere people" that "AIDS [patients] have actually succumbed to the complications of drug usage, sexual stimulants, and AZT," and that "there is no reason to institute standard public health measures to control further spread of the epidemic."

Obviously, Monteith is so single-minded about a virus as the cause of AIDS, that all public health measures other than those against the virus thought to cause AIDS are worthless. But if AIDS were a drug disease, condoms and clean needles would be just as ineffective as they actually were in the last 12 years in keeping AIDS under control --- namely not! But controlling recreational drug use and banning the DNA chain terminator AZT could prevent AIDS entirely, if it is caused by these drugs. Likewise, lung cancer and liver cirrhosis are not likely to be controlled by "the standard public health measures" against viruses.

Indeed, my book, Inventing the AIDS Virus, argues "in a clever and convincing manner...[that]...swayed many people" that AIDS would be an entirely preventable and treatable epidemic, if the drug-AIDS hypothesis proved to be correct. The drug hypothesis could be tested experimentally in animals and epidemiologically in humans for a small fraction of the annual $8 billion budget that the U.S. taxpayer pays now for the unproductive HIV/AIDS research and treatment alone.

Instead of subjecting the drug hypothesis to a scientific debate, Monteith tries to defend the familiar, but unproductive HIV hypothesis. Yet the evasion of a "clever and convincing" challenger proved, since Galileo, the safest way to prevent progress. But despite his unshakable faith in HIV, Monteith --- unlike most of his HIV-orthodox peers --- acknowledges the existence of the drug hypothesis. And this is the first step of scientific debate that could well produce the solution to AIDS!


1. Duesberg PH. 1996, Ed., AIDS: Virus or Drug-Induced? [a collection of 27 articles investigating the causes of AIDS], Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
2. Duesberg PH. Inventing the AIDS Virus. Washington DC, Regnery Publishing, 1996.
3. Duesberg PH, Yiamouyiannis J. AIDS. Delaware OH, Health Action Press, 1995.
4. Duesberg PH. Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled? Berkeley, CA, North Atlantic Books, 1995.

Dr. Duesberg is a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley and author of Inventing the AIDS Virus. His address is Department of Molecular and Cell Biology,University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1997;2(3):107-108. Copyright©1997 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)

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