Aids Essay

4755 WordsDec 7, 201220 Pages
Most people believe they know what causes AIDS. For a decade, scientist, government officials, physicians, journalists, public-service ads, TV shows, and movies have told them that AIDS is caused by a retrovirus called HIV. This virus supposedly infects and kills the "T-cells" of the immune system, leading to an inevitably, fatal immune deficiency after an asymptomatic period that averages 10 years or so. Most people do not know-because there has been a visual media blackout on the subject-about a longstanding scientific controversy over the cause of AIDS. A controversy that has become increasingly heated as the official theory's predictions have turned out to be wrong. Leading biochemical scientists, including University of California at Berkeley retrovirus expert Peter Duesberg and Nobel Prize winner Walter Gilbert, have been warning for years that there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS. The warnings were met first with silence, then with ridicule and contempt. In 1990, for example, Nature published a rare response from the HIV establishment, as represented by Robin A. Weiss of the Institute of Cancer Research in London and Harold W. Jaffe of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Weiss and Jaffe compared the doubters to people who think that bad air causes malaria. "We have . . . been told," they wrote, "that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) originates from outer space, or as a genetically engineered virus for germ warfare which was tested in prisoners and spread from them. Peter H. Duesberg's proposition that HIV is not the cause of AIDS at all is, to our minds, equally absurd." Viewers of ABC's 1993 Day One special on the cause of AIDS-almost the only occasion on which network television has covered the controversy-saw Robert Gallo, the leading exponent of the HIV theory, stomp away from the microphone in a rage when asked to respond to the views of

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