Review from the Townsend Letter for Doctors, January 1994

Reviewed by Jule Klotter

THE AIDS WAR: Propaganda, Profiteering and Genocide from the Medical-Industrial Complex
by John Lauritsen
Asklepios, Provincetown 1993

    John Lauritsen's book The AIDS War reveals the disparity between the scientific search for truth and the medical-industrial complex. John Lauritsen, a survey research analyst, began reviewing AIDS research in 1983. This book is a collection of his articles, written since 1985, that document the sloppy science, propaganda, and greed behind the “AIDS plague”.  Throughout the years, Lauritsen has analyzed information or lack of information, from the authorities and researchers at the Centers for Disease Control, National Cancer Institute and FDA. The articles dispute the assertions that AIDS is a “gay disease” (or even a sexual disease), that HIV causes AIDS, and that AZT and other nucleoside analogue drugs (ddI, ddC, d4T) provide any benefits.
    By pointing out the fallacies and information gaps in the CDC's statistical tables that show high risk factors, Lauritsen attacks their assumption that AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease. Amazingly little research has focused on other factors that affect the immune system, such as diet, alcohol and drug use, medical history, and antibiotic use of persons with AIDS (PWA). When the first cases of this immune deficiency came to the CDC, someone noticed that a majority of the patients were gay men and that the rest were IV drug users. Prejudice, ignorance, and our Puritan heritage being what it is, the assumption was made that it was sexually transmitted. Promiscuity became a risk factor according to the CDC, yet its statistics never included sexual frequency. Being gay does not necessarily mean that someone is promiscuous. A person can be gay and celibate, just as a heterosexual person can be celibate. The CDC also decided that sharing needles was another risk factor. IV drug users were told to stop sharing needles, although no evidence that they did share needles exists. Nearly 80% of the people diagnosed as having “AIDS” in Italy are IV drug users, yet needle-sharing is extremely rare because buying needles is legal.
    The CDC never considered that drug abuse is one characteristic that all PWA have in common. Doctors and observers of the gay community that Lauritsen has questioned over the years say that while not all PWA they've been in contact with are promiscuous, all have used drugs (quaaludes, cocaine, poppers, ethyl chloride, amphetamines, etc.), were alcoholic, and/or had taken antibiotics repeatedly. Poppers, a recreational drug common in a subset of the gay culture, and heroin used by IV drug users are known immunosuppressants, yet the CDC claimed it was dirty needles and sex, not drugs themselves, that were the primary danger.
    In addition to these information gaps, the CDC has skewed the information it has. In their statistical tables a patient who is gay and an IV drug user is categorized as being gay only, as if sexual orientation (not even sexual frequency) is the determining factor. The cdc manipulated the statistics in another way. In 1987, patients who exhibited all the symptoms of the disease but who tested negative to HIV and did not have a positive culture were no longer considered to be AIDS patients. As Dr. Polly Thomas of the NYC Health Department explained, an IV drug user with TB who has HIV antibodies would be counted as an “AIDS” case, but one who has TB without antibodies would be considered merely a tuberculin patient.
    For whatever reasons, the CDC is committed to the belief that AIDS is an infectious disease caused by a virus. Originally, AIDS was defined as a condition in which the body's immune system became deficient due to many factors, including use of Cyclosporin (used in organ transplants), cortisone, radiation, even old age. With the discovery of HIV, AIDS became a disease, treatable as all infectious diseases with the use of a drug. The problem is that AIDS and HIV don't follow the characteristics of infectious diseases. Lauritsen points out that the “AIDS virus” does not satisfy bacteriologist Robert Koch's criteria for establishing that a micro-organism causes a specific disease. Koch's first postulate states that the microbe must be found in all cases of the disease. Lauritsen points out that between 20-64% of various samplings from people with AIDS do not show HIV-1. When they could no longer blame it on the fallibility of the lab tests, the CDC solved the problem by deleting cases that don't show signs of the microbe from its statistical tables. Koch's second postulate states that injection of the micro-organism into susceptible animals must result in the same disease. While test animals develop antibodies to the virus, none have contracted AIDS. A 1988 CDC study of health care workers who had been stuck by needles used on “AIDS” patients found that out of 1428 only 4 had developed HIV antibodies and none had gotten AIDS. Compare this to another study concerning health care workers stuck by needles that had been used on hepatitis-B patients in which 26% became ill. It makes one question how infectious and virulent the dreaded HIV really is.
    In June 1987 Lauritsen interviewed Dr. Peter H. Duesberg, Professor of Molecular Biology at UC-Berkeley, about the nature of HIV. Duesberg is an expert on retroviruses and the developer of techniques used to map the genetic structure of retroviruses. Duesberg's article in the 1 March 1987 issue of Cancer Research questioned the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. HIV is a retrovirus, a benign, latent virus that needs living cells in order to replicate. Duesberg explained that “the most effective time for the virus to be pathogenic is right after infection and before it induces antiviral immunity. They you are unprotected, they the virus can grow. That's when you get your symptoms.”  He said that there is “no precedent for a microbe that causes disease only after, but never before, the formation of antibodies.”  Yet, the HIV blood test, upon which the diagnosis of AIDS is based, measures the presence of antibodies to the virus.
    Lauritsen asked officials at CDC and NCI for proof that HIV causes AIDS. In all the years since Duesberg's 1987 article not one government researcher has provided data to support the HIV-causes-AIDS hypothesis. What responses have been issued are defensive and uninformative. “The evidence that HIV causes AIDS is so overwhelming that it almost doesn't deserve discussion anymore,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 1990, Luc Montagnier, who discovered HIV, admitted that “HIV was not sufficient to cause AIDS, and perhaps not even necessary.”  The scientific community may know that HIV is not a death sentence, that AIDS and HIV are not the same thing, but the medical establishment, government and media still perpetuate the myth. People still erroneously see the presence of HIV antibodies as a death sentence, primarily due to media sensationalism.
    The “AIDS epidemic” in Africa is primarily a product of bad science and propaganda. Diseases common in poverty-stricken areas of Africa for decades but unfamiliar to Western doctors, are now being diagnosed as “AIDS”. Lauritsen found in the British book, AIDS, Africa and Racism by Richard and Rosalind Chirimuuta, that “[Western doctors] conducted small and unreliable seroepidemiological surveys that ‘proved’ that millions of Africans were infected with the virus.” One Belgian team spent 3 weeks in Kinshasa, diagnosed 38 people as having AIDS, “then figured out how many cases this would amount to in a year's time, divided that by the total population of Kinshasa, and estimated an annual rate of developing AIDS in that country to be about 17 per 100,000.”  When West German researchers examined thousands of serum samples from Central Africa and found only 4 contained HIV antibodies, their findings were ignored since they didn't fit the AIDS plague myth.
    The media further propagate fear and prejudice via stories like the one about David Acer, the gay Florida dentist, who supposedly infected five of his patients with HIV and caused the death of Kimberly Bergalis from “AIDS”. The CDC studies regarding health care workers and HIV-infected needles show how hard it is to transmit the HIV virus. Investigations by the CDC indicate that Acer followed their safety procedures conscientiously. Transmission of HIV to five people is extremely unlikely, especially since no other case of a health care worker infecting patients has been found. Even if Acer by some bizarre chance, did infect five people with HIV, the discoverer of HIV himself says that the virus does not cause AIDS. Whatever caused Kimberly Bergalis' illness, it wasn't David Acer. No one has yet determined how common HIV is in the general, non-risk population. However, the picture of this homosexual causing the death of this young, “innocent” woman provides Jesse Helms, David Duke, the Oregon Citizens Alliance, and other right-wing fascist groups great ammunition for their hate and fear campaign.
    Other celebrated “AIDS” cases have also been misrepresented. The Hemophilia Foundation of Indiana, when contacted by a colleague of Dr. Duesberg, reported that Ryan White's major health problem was not AIDS, but hemophilia. Hemophiliacs had an average life expectancy of 13 years until the development of Factor VIII, a concentrate made from blood donors used to treat hemophilia. While Factor VIII ameliorates the effects of hemophilia and extends life expectancy, it is also immunosuppressive. So is AZT.
    AZT, which has been marketed as the main weapon against “AIDS”, has caused untold numbers of deaths. No one has lived more than 3 years while taking AZT — and this isn't because they were infected by HIV. People testing positive for HIV antibodies have remained healthy for decades. AZT destroys bone marrow and causes severe anemia, requiring transfusions. AZT causes liver, kidney, and neurological damage, and destroys intestinal cells resulting in wasting disease. The FDA classifies it as being a potential carcinogen as it is “highly positive on the Call Transformation Assay.” Most disturbing of all, AZT and other nucleoside analogues, like ddI, prevent new cells from being formed by attacking DNA synthesis. The contention that AZT extends life is based on the poorly run, multi-center Phase II study which Lauritsen documents and analyzes at great length. The bottom line is that Burroughs-Wellcome has made billions of dollars by effectively promoting the use of AZT to thousands of people who have antibodies to a latent virus, a virus that does not cause the immune deficiencies that we call AIDS. The medical complex desperately wants a virus, then they can develop and sell drugs to kill it. Imagine their horror if word gets out that it's their antibiotics and drugs that contribute to the disease.
    The AIDS War documents the scientific, industrial, political, and social factors that have combined to create a deadly boondoggle of misinformation, poor science, stupidity, and greed. That people are dying from immune suppression is not in question. The cause is. it is part time to consider the evidence that AIDS is caused by non-infectious agents such as psycho-active drugs, over-medication with antibiotics, and AZT itself. John Lauritsen's The AIDS War is journalism at its finest; it is well written, and shows a deep regard for digging up truth.

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