Anti-sci­ence weird­ness

Fortean Times - - Letters -

A claim has got me even more baffled than when it first came out many years ago, be­cause one would not have ex­pected it to sur­vive this long. First put for­ward by No­bel prize-win­ning vi­rol­o­gist Dr Peter Deus­berg, the claim is that the HIV virus does not cause AIDS. This may have arisen be­fore the de­vel­op­ment of the lat­est drugs, with­out the some­times hor­ri­ble side ef­fects of the first gen­er­a­tion. But to­day the new drugs tar­geted to fight the virus have in­deed saved many lives, in­clud­ing for­mer NBA star Magic John­son.

So how can they work if the virus is not caus­ing the dis­ease? This seem­ingly fan­tas­tic claim was re­cently re­peated in Nexus magazine (vol. 24 #4, 7/8/17, p.17) in a sec­tion of an ar­ti­cle, (pp.16-17) ‘Is There Some­thing Wrong With The Germ The­ory?’ sub­ti­tled ‘The Virus Wars’. Here’s an ex­cerpt: “To say that AIDS is not caused by a virus but sim­ply by (de­struc­tive) life-style choices was un­ac­cept­able. But it was okay to claim that a virus is the cause of AIDS, and to scare ev­ery­one.” What is scary to me is how this ar­ti­cle re­flects the an­ti­science at­ti­tude, held by many Amer­i­can politi­cians and their fol­low­ers, that con­ceiv­ably could bring about the end of the world, long be­fore comets, as­ter­oids, vol­ca­noes, or the Sun it­self get around to do­ing the job. Richard Porter Den­ver, Colorado

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