TALLAHASSEE, FL (The Register) Tuesday, 20 April 1999 - The debate in question "questions" the generally held beliefs that AIDS is
caused by the HIV virus and also makes claims that AZT, commonly used to
treat AIDS, is actually responsible for many, if not all, of the symptoms
that classify a person as having AIDS.
Scheduled for 7:00 P.M. at the FSU Moore Auditorium, it features AIDS
specialist, Dr. Tom Hicks and Fla Bureau HIV/AIDS official Paul Mozzotta
on the "Pro" HIV panel. Arguing that HIV does not cause AIDS are former
FSU grad student and national editor of REAPPRAISING AIDS, Paul
Philpott and former FSU student senator, Jason Nusbaum. The debate will be
moderated by Ian Granick, Pragmatisist publisher.
Since some of the participants of this debate are likely to be homosexual
-- due to the nature of the subject, The Register feels it
necessary to make some clarifications. While the editorial board feels
that some of the claims of the "HIV=AIDS"-theory opponents have
merit, it is appropriate to point out that, you, the reading audience,
know where we stand on the Homosexual issue: it - along with "straight"
deviancies such as cheating on one's spouse and fornication - are
inappropriate shortcuts to temporal pleasure, e.g., wrong. (In fact, The
Register suggests ways in which mate similarities and honesty can help in
heterosexual/straight mate selection.) With that said...
Regardless of whether the claims made by Philpott and Nusbaum are correct,
The Register takes issue with an allegation made by Pat Simmons,
director of the HIV/AIDS hotline about Nusbaum. Simmons, as quoted in the
March 15-17 1998 front-page story of the FSView says, among other
things, that: "[Jason] may enable some poor slob to give a rationale for
infecting more people with a terrible disease." Excuse me, Ms. Simmons,
but did I miss something? I (editor Gordon Watts) was at one of the talks
given by Jason, and he did not espouse nor endorse any "free sex"
theories. Instead, he said (paraphrase) "this causes AIDS and not that"
and also "AZT is a bad treatment, good care of your health is a good
treatment." This is what makes people turn off to any debate and ignore
the "controversy," Ms. Simmons.
Whatever you may believe, there are some websites reportedly endorsed by
Nusbaum's group. You may visit them yourselves and make up your own
Here is another link suggested by a recent email from
a doctor who I will keep anonymous:
http://www.iol.ie/~gittons/aids/index.htm. This website is called AIDS
Myth, and another link, http://aidsmyth.com, apparently was a “hop-off”
point, and re-directed my web-browser there. Perhaps that server got too
busy, so, I encourage you to write down the other links, since the
easy-to-remember ones here like aidsmyth.com may later become outdated
links, that is, like a wrong number is to a telephone call!
Considering how the U.S. Government has tried to cover-up the Agent Orange and Gulf
War Syndrome events as well as the Tuskegee "tests" (to see if Black men could fend
off Venereal Diseases) and a host of other "denials,"... Well, The Register
takes a critical look at any claims made by the Government, one way or the other. In
fact, I [editor Gordon Watts] just recently heard in a biology class this [Spring
1999] semester here at FSU some ongoing controversy about the origins of cancer that
reminded me of the HIV-AIDS debate. My instructor, Dr. Kurt G. Hofer, a well-known
cancer researcher, informed the class that many mutagens (chemicals that cause DNA
changes) ARE NOT carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer) and many carcinogens are
not mutagens. The significance of this statement is that it has been widely held in
the medical and scientific communities that cancer is caused by DNA mutations. Well,
if that is so, then how do those non-mutagenic agents cause cancer in, say,
laboratory rats or petri dish cell/tissue cultures? (Dr. Hofer suggests that it may
be a cell re-differentiation problem, which means in plain English, that the cell
tries to stop being, for example, a skin cell and tries to become something else,
say, a liver cell and thus become a 'rogue,' out of place rebel cell. The cell
can do this because every cell in the human body has a
COMPLETE DNA complement. That, in fact, is how the single cell of the sheep,
"Dolly," was able to grow into a complete new sheep, a clone, which is an identical
twin growing up lagging by, generally a few years or months.)
Dr. Hofer suggests that the scientific community is less that quick to embrace this
potential new hypothesis due to the fact that many years have been
into looking at potential mutation causes of cancer, and that many scientists might
be less than willing to either start anew from scratch or admit that they were wrong
for so many years. Does this sound familiar -- perhaps like the AIDS debate which is
the subject of this article? Well, I asked Dr. Hofer his opinion on the theory that
HIV does not cause AIDS. He said that he heard a lecture that espoused the
non-HIV theory (held by Nusbaum and Philpott and others), and that the
lecture was very convincing; nonetheless, he felt that the evidence still
is convincing that HIV does cause AIDS.
Even though a lot of "respectable scientists" are reported to have jumped on the
non-HIV bandwagon (and I do not notice any denial of this by the
scientists in question or critics of this new "non-HIV" theory), still one
testimony seems to stand out above the rest. That would be the personal
testimony of Christine Maggiore, whose excerpt appears below. I feel that
practically NO apparently healthy person would claim to have the "AIDS"
antibodies present in his or her body unless it were true. (False claims
would get an immediate 'fear' reaction from the community!) Thus, the
claim that someone could have the antibodies normally associated with AIDS
and still be healthy seems true. Below is the excerpt off the
www.heal-la.org site listed above:
"Please visit our new web site at www.aliveandwell.org.
Our phone numbers are the same with the addition of a new toll free number
877/92-ALIVE. Our new e mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your understanding and continued support.
Founder of The Organization Formerly Known As HEAL Los Angeles
Director of Alive & Well
HIV positive and naturally healthy since 1992"
Alive and Well with an HIV positive reading, eh, Christine? Well, see
below for coverage of the event.
Beginning at slightly after 7 p.m., the forum/debate featured Nusbaum and
Philpott on the "Anti" HIV-cause side. For the "Pro" HIV-cause panel, Mr.
Mozotta and Dr. Hicks were joined by Ms. Pat Simmons whose quote appears
above. I got a chance to ask Ms. Simmons about her quote. Both she and
Nusbaum concurred that the quote in question was correct. They also both
concurred that the quote was taken from an e-mail that Simmons had sent to
an unidentified third party or parties about Nusbaum. She did not
elaborate on her motives, but all five participants on both "sides"
affirmed that they supported the quest to find a cure to AIDS either
explicitly or implicitly. Likewise, participants on both sides were quick
to point out that they did not support "unsafe" sex. Nusbaum added that he
supported safe sax and that the AIDS debate was not about being gay or
straight. In support of this claim, his panel showed statistics for groups
not normally associated with gayness such as drug users and women with
AIDS. Philpott claimed that, as a graduate student at , he was kicked out of the Biological Science
program for espousing views that HIV does not cause AIDS. He made
allegations of free speech and academic freedom suppression, adding
that he did not want to see this happen to anyone else.
The opposing panels were remarkably polite to one another. In Mr.
Mozotta's introduction, he agreed with Nusbaum's statements that listeners
should not take their word but instead look up the information. He went on
to claim that Nusbaum and Philpott misinterpreted their sources to mislead
the audience, a theme echoed by a later question from a member of the
audience whose drug company used studies to say whatever they wanted them
to in order to sell other companies their pharmaceutical drugs. Mozotta
said that people desperate with AIDS would be susceptible to any new
theory that said they might not have a deadly illness. Dr. Hicks related
anecdotal and personal experience with AIDS victims, claiming AZT has a
positive effect on their symptoms.
After the introduction, listeners were given a chance for questions. The
first questioner, Register reporter, Gordon Watts, asked Dr.
Hicks' panel how they could dispute the findings and results of the
studies from the peer reviewed "scientific literature" could be refuted
and where were their citations and references? "Scientific literature" is
generally understood to mean journals accepted by the scientific
community, not popular magazines like the National Enquirer or
even the "somewhat" scientific National Geographic. He also asked
the other panel for a copy of their references, some of which they
displayed on an overhead projector. Nusbaum assured Watts that references
would be provided, later claiming that they could be found on certain
websites. Another questioner criticized Dr. Hicks' panel of coming
without any scientific references, to which Hicks responded that the
question was not important, as the issue had been sufficiently analyzed
by this point.
Philpott claimed that AIDS is the only virus that flunks all the tests for
it to be classified as a pathogenic disease and is still classified as
such. He mentioned as an example that a virus, to be classified as such,
must in some of its victims display a "signature" symptom or
characteristic at the onset of infection, such as pock marks or fever.
AIDS does not, he says. Further, he showed statistics of AIDS patients
without the HIV virus, claiming that as proof that HIV could not cause
AIDS. He elaborated on how 'weak' and harmless the virus is even in a
virus culture, where scientist supply the virus with easier living
Dr. Hicks claimed that there has never been a case of a person with HIV
antibodies who did not have the HIV virus. He claimed that the virus would
always be detectable, even if it were in small quantities. Philpott
countered this claim, stating that we do find cases of people who test
positive for the HIV antibodies and symptoms, thus being classified with
AIDS but without the virus itself. He thus claims that the virus can not
***** -LINKS TO EXPLORE The Register- *****
I have checked with my professor, Dr. Hofer, once more on some of these
sticky problems. Specifically, I asked him why the HIV test was allowed to
fail the "gold standard" test based on the Koch's Postulate that
stipulates that: "The germ must not be found in other diseases or healthy
people." He replied that some people, about 1 in 100 HIV positive people,
I recollect, somehow have a spontaneous healing by means as yet unknown to
science. Science, he said, is beginning to rethink some of these
concepts and definitions.
The bottom line is this: The Register would love to take a stance
on the issue, but we do not feel that there is enough evidence one way or
the other to say either that AIDS is caused by HIV or
is not. (Or, if there is, even still, we are only
students: real scientists get confused over these issues and disagree with
one another. We are doing well to just bring the news to you on this!)
However, we do feel that the issue is both interesting and important
enough to warrant further attention and study. With that, we hope that we
have given you some interesting things to think about. *