By Peter Duesberg
Alumni Day 6 March 1993
Our keynote speaker is a distinguished scientist and also a professor
of cellular and molecular biology. He was educated at the Universities
of Wurtzberg, Frankfurt, and Munich in Germany and at the University
of Basel in Switzerland. He's been at Cal (UC Berkeley) since
1964, where he has worked primarily on retroviruses and their
relationship to cancer. That work has been rewarded by the discovery
of the first cancer gene in 1978.
the California Scientist of the Year award in 1971. He received
the American Medical Center Oncology award for research on cancer
in 1981. In 1986, he was elected to the National Academy of Science,
which is probably one of the most prestigious awards any scientist
can be given short of winning a Nobel prize. That same year he was
also the recipient of a seven-year Outstanding Investigation Award
from the National Institute of Health, which is really awarded to
only those scientists who have very strong track records, who are
on the cutting edge of science.
Well, I think
that all of us at the University of California at Berkeley are no
strangers to controversy, whether it's the Free Speech Movement,
or the cause of AIDS. I think that the discussion and debate of
unpopular views is critical to truth and also to the health of great
universities like ours.
Today we have
the opportunity to listen to the beat of a decidedly different drummer
and make up our own minds. With that, again let me say it's my distinct
privilege and pleasant to introduce our keynote speaker, Dr. Peter
Thank you very much Scott and certainly also Annette Ramirez. I
certainly congratulate you for your courage and for being a little
bit different, and also for your sense of humor in getting me here
today despite my highly controversial point of view. I understand
that there were some suggestions from some of my colleagues at Berkeley
who are also a little bit different from you and me that Annette
should pick me up with her jeep but not to deliver me to the Biltmore
Hotel but back to Berkeley. Somehow I persuaded her to come to the
Biltmore Hotel and there's where we still are.
you all remember that in the early 1980s a mysterious new disease,
which is now called AIDS, began to claim increasing numbers of lives
in America, a few also in Europe. But AIDS from the very beginning
picked from very selective groups. It didn't pick your ordinary
guy from next door. 90% of its victims in Europe and American, to
this day are males. And even they are not just all males, but males
between 20 and 50 years of age. And even that is not specific enough
for AIDS. A third of these males are intravenous drug users and
use those drugs for years at a time, and another two-thirds approximately
are male homosexuals. A few other have been identified as AIDS risk
groups. These are hemophiliacs, transfusion recipients, and almost
all women with AIDS are also intravenous drug users. That's 90%
of the AIDS in America; it's almost exactly the same in Europe.
this new epidemic appeared, scientists were stunned and divided
from the very beginning at to whether this was due to a new microbe,
a new infectious agent that we had not seen before or discovered
before, or could it be due to what was euphemistically called the
life style. The style was a euphemism for sexual and drug liberation,
which started in the 60s, essentially after the Viet Nam War. And
those were the groups, those practicing those new life styles, where
most AIDS patients had come from.
Now the confusion
ended suddenly in April, 1984, by an unprecedented event, at least
unprecedented in the history of science. At that point, it was announced
at an international press conference in Washington by the Secretary
of Health and Human Services , Margaret Heckler, and Robert Gallo,
researcher at the National Institute of Health, a colleague of mine
and retrovirologist also chasing viruses for 25 years, that the
cause of AIDS had been found, that it was a retrovirus, which is
now called HIV, shor t for human immunodeficiency virus. There was
no more need to worry about it; within two years we would have a
vaccine, AIDS would be under control, but the hypothesis predicted,
unfortunately though, that AIDS would within those two years explode
into t he general population. In fact, Margaret Heckler was not
politically correct enough at the time, she said in the heterosexual
population, and therefore she became ambassador to Ireland shortly
So it was to
explode, then, into the general population. The Gallo hypothesis
that HIV infects you, is sexually transmitted, that would explain
why it is found mostly in 20 to 45-year-olds, not in the older people,
and it would infect the critical part o f the immune system called
the T-cells. There are two major cellular elements to the immune
system: one is called the B-cells and the other is the T-cells.
And they are sort of like the Army and the Navy. If you lose one,
the defenses become crippled or useless. So if the T-cells are gone,
the immune system is gone, and if the immune system is gone, it's
like leaving your door open on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. All
sorts of things start moving in.
So that was
the explanation but there were immediately some odd stipulations
to this hypothesis. In fact, it's not going to happen right away.
You have a couple of years to think about it, five years initially,
now we are at ten years. So you get infec ted today and ten years
you're free. You can continue whatever you've done until then, but
ten years from now, you may get one of 25 diseases which are all
called AIDS now- when they occur in the presence of HIV. That is
the definition in terms of Gal lo's and Heckler's announcement of
April, 1984. These could be dementia, it could be diarrhea, it could
Look at the
first slide. That sort of illustrates it. This is essentially the
definition of AIDS nowadays, and I'm not making that up. That's
the Center for Disease Control's definition. When you have tuberculosis,
which is one of the 25 AIDS diseases , when you have also antibodies
against HIV, your disease will be called AIDS. If you have the same
tuberculosis and no HIV, then it is called tuberculosis and nobody
gives a damn. It's not going to be published in Nature, in Science,
the New England Jo urnal, or the Los Angeles Times, nobody's going
to mention it, because tuberculosis is an old disease and nobody
can make a career that way.
HIV is called AIDS. Dementia in the absence of HIV, you're just
stupid. That is the definition of AIDS. I'm not making that up.
So Gallo and
Heckler promised a vaccine, which was a politically good announcement
to make because Ronald Reagan was going to be reelected in 1984
and the gay lobby had complained that he had never said anything
about AIDS. He said, "What do you want, here's Robert Gallo,
he's found the cause and in two years we'll have a vaccine."
So Ronald Reagan was reelected.
Now, the major
achievements of the virus hypothesis were all in the public relations
form. It achieved instant popularity, global popularity, with the
scientific community. Among them, particularly my buddies, including
me initially for a short term, we all looked for an important virus.
Because a lot of scientists in biology are still microbe hunters.
There were raised in the era of microbe hunting, the only triumph
in medicine- we have eliminated infectious diseases. Starting with
Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, all medical students have been microbe
hunters, in their fantasies, at least. They were going to get a
bad microbe, make a vaccine, find an antibiotic, cure it, get rich
and famous, get a Nobel prize and everything else they wanted. That's
the dream of all of us. And that has actually worked, but that has
worked so well that infectious diseases are eliminated in the Western
Less than 1%
of us in our lifetime die from an infectious disease or get sick
from an infectious disease. Over 99% of our health problems have
nothing to do with infectious diseases anymore. It's clearly a triumph,
but it's history. But it's still in the minds of all of us researchers
and the last frontier we had in the Western world was the polio
epidemic in the 50s, when thousands of virologists were raised to
fix the next viral epidemic, but it never came.
So we turned
our attention, that's we virologists, to cancer. We hoped that viruses
would cause cancer. We learned a lot about cancer, we learned a
lot about viruses, but we failed in our mission, basically. The
virus/cancer program was a failure. Human cancer is not contagious,
is not caused by a virus, and hardly any animal cancers, either.
They are a few. My claim to fame is one of those, finding cancer
genes, as Scott pointed out in the introduction, but that's a rare
thing, it's academically in teresting, it is not useful for science
in general, and it is irrelevant in terms of cancer statistics.
So here was
an army of literally 10,000s of retrovirologists, all of the AIDS
orthodoxy is included now, Robert Gallo, Peter Duesberg, Robin Weiss,
Howard Temin, David Baltimore, you have heard some of those names,
Anthony Fauci, in the newspapers. All of these are retrovirologists
from the virus/cancer program that had failed. They were looking
for clinical relevance. That is exactly what they were looking for.
Finally, there was some clinical relevance, an important disease,
to make a name for thems elves, and of course to justify their research,
which is nothing that a scientist would see better than the end
of his or her career or the middle or it, or even at the beginning,
to make clinical relevance and become famous.
So the retrovirologists
all immediately agreed, sure, it's got to be a viral disease. And
the approval was even more widespread, because the new thing happened
to biology in the last 20 years, and that's the commercialization
of science, which is hardly ever addressed because most scientists
see themselves as truth-seekers working at universities in ivory
towers and are publishing papers in journals that look for nothing
but the truth. But the reality is that if you look at Berkeley,
at UCLA, and all th e major campuses, they are surrounded by bio-technology
companies, Genetek, Chiron...they are not accidentally surrounding
these campuses, because they're consulted, owned and operated by
the same people who pretend to be truth seekers, that have no other
interest but finding the truth on campuses, and they're moon-lighting
or double-timing at companies where they make millions of dollars.
That is sometimes very good. That is good for the economy, but it's
not necessarily good for the truth. Because once you have a company
put a million dollars on one view, you certainly don't push the
alternative view that could threaten that investment. And that's
happening in Berkeley just as well as at many other universities.
So the bio-technologists
would like nothing better than a viral disease because now they
could make test kits for the antibody. Twenty million AIDS tests
are performed per year at $50 apiece. Twenty million times 50 is
a nice number for a bio-technology company to start. You can also
make a vaccine at a bio-technology company and you can multiply
everything again with a factor of a million. You can make AZT. But
if you deal with drug addiction or with homosexuality or heterosexuality
or God knows what, then you have to call in Mother Theresa and nobody
has any money for any studies.
So for the
bio-technology company, viruses are first-rate, but a human problem
is not very viable and commercially highly uninteresting. And even
the gays preferred a virus over alternative causes because a virus
is an egalitarian disease. Nobody is goi ng to look into your lifestyle
and say, "Okay, you're doing this, you're doing this, you should
get this." God gave the virus, nobody can argue with God, and
we can easily come up with slogans-"We are all in this together,"
which they all say. Eliza beth Taylor is in this together, although
Elizabeth Taylor comes to the dinner and some other people die of
AZT and some other causes of AIDS. Nevertheless, we're all in this
And even the
journalists loved it. It was a windfall for the journalists. The
science writers had to sit in the laboratory in somebody's lab,
and listen to what is a nuclear reactor, how does it work, how can
I sell it in my next Sunday magazine article. Now, all they have
to do is call Anthony Fauci or some other expert on AIDS research,
touch it up with a little anal intercourse and intravenous drugs
in the bathhouse, and have their next story for the Sunday Times.
Everybody would love it and everybody would read it.
So it was a
windfall in terms of public relations and commercial interests,
but if you look at the public health benefits of the virus/AIDS
hypothesis, that we have known since 1984, since that famous press
conference, its achievements have been a complet e disaster, a total
failure, not even one life has been saved. We are spending on this
virus more than on all viruses and microbes in history combined.
The U.S. taxpayer pays four billion dollars annually on AIDS research,
one billion on basic research, three billion in care. No one life
has been saved. No vaccine has been developed. No drug has been
developed except AZT. This I think is AIDS by prescription. It's
the most toxic drug ever approved for long-term consumption in the
free world. It wa s developed 20 years ago for chemotherapy, that
is to kill human cells, when you have no other way of removing a
cancer, that's what it does. There are no side effects, there's
nothing other than killing cells. That's what it does. It just killed
Arthur Asche last month, in January, Kimberly Bergalis a year ago,
and 200,000 people are on AZT owing to this one hypothesis now in
this country alone, every six hours they take chain terminators
of DNA synthesis.
So you cannot
even come up with effective prevention. AIDS continues to spread
despite hundreds of organizations educating, condoms, clean needles,
and nobody has achieved control of the spread of AIDS. So in terms
of public health benefits, the virus hypothesis has been a complete
failure. But that is not even the final verdict on a scientific
hypothesis. There are other hypotheses that are correct but still
have not produced any results. The hallmark of a scientifically
correct hypothesis, however, is when it can make valid predictions.
That is the hallmark of the good hypothesis. A good meteorology
hypothesis can predict whether it's going to be sunny or rainy tomorrow,
it cannot change the weather.
We can say
on the basis of genetics that the odds of getting hemophilia, if
the hemophilia gene is in the family, are 25% or 50%. We can do
some symptomatic treatment but we cannot cure hemophilia at this
point. That's the hallmark of a good hypothesis.
Now what can
the virus/AIDS hypothesis predict? Can it predict who is getting
AIDS? It predicted exactly what you would expect from a viral disease-it
would explode into the general population. But it didn't explode
into the general population. As in the first year, AIDS is still
restricted 90% to men, among them 30% intravenous drug users and
60% gays, and a few hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients. It
did not explode. The virus hypothesis failed to predict the epidemiology
If you are
infected today, you ask your doctor, "When do I get AIDS?"
He could tell you, maybe next month, maybe next year, maybe five
years from now, it could be ten years from now, it could also be
20 years from now, or it could be never. Any decade now, you could
get AIDS. That's not a very helpful prediction to make. That's true
almost with life. If you're talking decades, life is running out
pretty fast, because it's not forever.
If you ask
your doctor, what do you get? What do I get, I'm infected today?
Well, it could be dementia, but it could be just as well diarrhea,
it could be Kaposi's sarcoma, it could be lymphoma or pneumonia,
diseases which have absolutely nothing in com mon, at least many
of them. Totally useless predictions.
billions of dollars in AIDS research, nobody has an idea how HIV
is causing AIDS. In fact, here's one of the major flaws in the hypothesis
altogether: The T-cells are disappearing but they are not infected
by HIV. One in 1000 at the most is infected. There is no precedent
anywhere in the literature of biology or even microbiology that
a cell that is not infected is dying from a virus. Viruses are what
you call intracellular parasites. They have to get into the cell
and then they mess up the machinery of the cell. They cannot send
a signal, "Okay, I'm staying here, I'm too busy with something
else, but you're going to die over there." Viruses cannot work
that way. They have to get into the cell, then they can do something,
whatever it is. But they certainly cannot kill from a distance.
That's what the virus hypothesis is asked to explain. It cannot.
It comes up with co-factors and other things.
There are other
problems. AIDS is new, but it turns out that HIV is probably as
old as America, if it's not older. But how do we measure the age
of the virus, particularly one that we don't know yet so well, only
for eight years. But it is the law in epidemiology, based on epidemiologists
from the last century, who have actually observed that when a new
microbe or new disease comes into a population, it spreads exponentially-it
explodes, exactly like Heckler and Gallo predicted for AIDS. That
was a very logical thing to predict. Because it will spread into
susceptible animals, or in this case people, according to susceptibility.
Very much like
we heard this morning about the diseases that came to California
when the white man came with the Bible, the gun, with syphilis and
tuberculosis. Within months, 95% of the Indians were dead. They
could read the Bible, they could use the gun, but they died from
syphilis and tuberculosis. The same thing happened to the Eskimos,
the same thing happened to the Hawaiians when they were discovered
by the white man. That's how new diseases spread in a population.
Or when a new flu strain comes in, susceptible people, usually nowadays
the old and the very young, get sick or some of them die. Then the
population becomes resistant. The survivors become resistant and
the virus either equilibrates or disappears.
Now look at
the pattern of HIV in the population. Since we can test, I agree
that it's not a long time, but it's long enough to draw a conclusion.
Take, for example, cytomegalovirus and herpes virus, which is in
the middle of the curve. That is found in 50% of Americans and Europeans,
ever since we've had the tests available. This chart only starts
in 1985 because the HIV test started then. On that ground, you can
say that it's a long - established virus, it's an old virus in the
population. A hypot hetical new epidemic, like the flu epidemic
which I'm showing here, would come up in a season, peak, and disappear.
Now look at
Candida and Pneumocystis, so-called AIDS diseases. These are fungi
which are normal inhabitants, guests in our lungs and on our skin.
They are in 100% of the population. Now look at HIV. The numbers
are small, but they are based on an enor mous amount of testing,
over 20 millions AIDS tests are conducted in the United States per
year; 10% of the population, essentially. Twelve million blood donations
are sampled for HIV, 2.5 million men in the Army, recruits are tested.
The United States Job Corps is tested. Maternity clinics are tested.
AIDS patients are tested. Altogether 20 million tests.
of these tests, one million Americans were found to be HIV-positive
in 1985 and one million Americans were found to be HIV-positive
in 1992 and again in 1993. HIV is a totally long-established virus
and on the grounds of this type of epidemio logy, you can extrapolate
this curve back 200 years. It's as solid as that. You can say the
virus came with the immigrants 200 years ago to this country. It's
an old, long - established virus, but AIDS is a new disease. It's
not a good candidate for a new disease.
Now we say
AIDS is sexually transmitted. Is that true? The AIDS orthodoxy has
tested transmission of HIV and we have a beautiful experimental
group to test it on, the American hemophiliacs. There are 20,000
American hemophiliacs. 15,000, or 75% of them, have HIV, owing to
blood transfusions from before the AIDS test. So for ten years now,
they are HIV positive. According to the virus hypothesis, they should
virtually all be dead. The reality is that the hemophiliacs are
now getting twice as old as they did only 15 years ago. They have
never done better than they do now in the history of hemophilia,
where 75% of them or 15,000 have had HIV for ten years. It's a good
record for HIV. Logically, you could argue, if you were a total
HIV fascist, you could say HIV has doubled the life of hemophiliacs.
(Laughter.) I'm not insisting that's true, but it is consistent
with the facts.
They have provided
a group to see how readily HIV is transmitted sexually, by sampling
the spouses of hemophiliacs. Scientists have found that less than
10% of their spouses, who had lived with them on an average of ten
years now, have picked up HIV from sexual contacts. On that basis,
again, it was calculated that on the average, 1000 unprotected sexual
contacts are necessary just to pick up HIV. Then a latent period
of ten years is to follow. So we can see it is a lot of work to
pick up HIV. So it' s a lot of work; you need a lot of contacts.
In other words,
no virus, if it were a sexually transmitted virus, could ever survive
on that basis. Evolutionarily that would be a hopeless condition.
There is no virus that could live as a sexually transmitted agent
if it depended on 1000 sexual contacts. Typical venereal diseases
are transmitted at a much higher efficiency. Gonorrhea, syphilis,
and herpes are transmitted at an efficiency of almost 50%. If you
have sexual contact with someone who has gonorrhea, the chances
for you to pick it up is at least 50%. On 1000 contacts, nobody
could make a living.
The only way
HIV could survive is if it had another, more secure mode of transmission.
And that is known-it is perinatal, like all other retroviruses,
in mice, chickens, monkeys that we have studies ad nauseum I would
say over the last 30 years. They are all transmitted from mother
to babies. And anything that is naturally transmitted perinatally
is harmless because anything that would be harmful and dependent
on perinatal transmission would be a fatal combination. The baby
would die, the mother would die, and the microbe would die. Microbes
that are perinatally transmitted in nature are harmless. E. coli
is among them. Hepatitis-B virus is naturally transmitted from mother
to baby. 90% of the natives in Africa or Australia have the virus.
It's transmitted because it goes through the guts; you don't have
a shower or a diaper service. The mother wipes the baby and there's
the virus. And the baby doesn't get sick. That's how polio was naturally
transmitted, in the old days. Only when the natu ral chain of transmission
was interrupted, then it become pathogenic when you first encountered
it at the age of 15 or 20.
So HIV is clearly
a perinatally transmitted virus and therefore not pathogenic. If
a virus or microbe that is normally not transmitted that way is
perinatally transmitted accidentally, like syphilis, the consequences
are disastrous. The baby can be blind or can die from it, that occasionally
happens, but it's not the natural mode of transmission.
that is against the virus hypothesis, and that's one of the worst,
the most clear-cut, came up last summer at the Amsterdam International
AIDS conference. It was called by several writers the Amsterdam
Surprise. There were dozens of AIDS cases, in risk groups, that
were HIV-free. They had pneumonia, they had Kaposi's sarcoma, there
were hemophiliacs with pneumonia, there were gays with Kaposi's,
there were junkies with tuberculosis, but did not have HIV. So,
they called them HIV- free AIDS cases and everybody was alarmed
because there was a new virus. There was no new virus. Now we have
actually a perfect cover-up on the part of the CDC. They gave it
a new name that nobody can pronounce, you can't even use it for
Scrabble, it's call ed idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia.
It's a wonderful
name. It won't appear in the Los Angeles Times, Nature, or Science
because nobody can remember what it was. When there's no HIV, essentially
we call a disease by the old name, as long as it's not AIDS. So
that in fact would have been th e strongest argument, again, one
of the most clear-cut arguments, if a disease is found in the absence
of a hypothetical cause, then it must be another cause that would
have caused the disease. But we don't hear about that much.
Now, in this
case, if we were scientists, if we didn't have a four billion dollar
research budget or a grant and our companies would depend on it,
and thousands or millions of patients would have been told "You
are antibody positive; you won't get life in surance, you can't
be in the Army, you can't have a relationship, you'd better take
AZT." We have actually prescribed for them AZT...then it's
too late to be scientifically honest. You have to continue whatever
your cause is.
But since we
have among us alumni, we have an open mind, which is an unusual
problem, then we can reconsider. We can say, "What should we
do?" We should apply what's called the scientific method. The
scientific method is that you make an observation, i n this case
it was the observation that AIDS is a new disease, what could it
be? Could it be an infectious agent? Right, that's a legitimate
hypothesis. Then you test the hypothesis and see does it work, if
it explains the observation, if it makes valid predictions, then
your hypothesis is good. If it doesn't, which AIDS surely doesn't,
(the viral hypothesis is a complete failure, in results and in predictions)
then you'd better make a new hypothesis. That's what you expect
from a graduate student an d even from a professor. (Laughter) So,
if we want to make a good hypothesis, then we want to analyze first
what we actually want to explain. What is AIDS? We have to have
a quick look back at AIDS. Is AIDS actually something that can be
fitted with a common cause? Let's have a look at AIDS. AIDS in America
is very difficult to reconcile with a single cause, because only
about 62% of all American AIDS diseases are immunodeficiencies.
Let's say you were to hypothesize there is an agent, virus or a
drug, that would eliminate the immune system, which could readily
explain 62% of American AIDS cases, which are pneumonia, Candidiasis,
all sorts of microbes that move in, as I said, when the door is
left open on Telegraph Avenue.
But there are
a full 38% of AIDS diseases in America and it's almost the same
in Europe, totally different in Africa...I'll come to that in a
second...that have nothing to do with immunodeficiency. There are
either Kaposi's sarcoma, which is a cancer, lymphomas, which is
also a sort of cancer, there are dementias or wasting disease which
is not microbial. There is a weight loss similar to anorexia or
cachexia. You lose weight, like typically junkies do, without an
infectious agent that is associated with it. Those add up to 38%
of AIDS cases. They are not immunodeficiencies and cannot be explained
by the loss of T-cells. You may have no T-cells whatsoever and your
IQ could be exactly the same as somebody who has an active immune
system. The same is true for cancer. Cancer is not the consequence
of immune deficiency.
So, it's not
easy to find a common denominator and thus a common cause for such
heterogeneous types of diseases. Second, when you look at the so-called
AIDS epidemics of different continents, you will find monumental
differences, as you will see on the next slide. Just compare the
United States, Europe, and Africa. You see, the American and European
AIDS epidemics are the same and the African is totally different,
like day and night. 90% of all European and American AIDS cases
are males, but in Africa they are sexually distributed evenly, like
all other infectious diseases, in fact, like most spontaneous diseases.
and European AIDS patients all come from these risk groups, which
are already listed, mainly intravenous drug users, male homosexuals,
hemophiliacs, transfusion recipients. The African AIDS patients
come from everywhere; they're from the gen eral population. If you
look at the diseases...we already went through some of them. On
the left column are the European diseases and American diseases.
On the right column are the African diseases. There is overlap between
them, but the overlap is le ss than 10%.
African AIDS is essentially tuberculosis, diarrhea, and fever, and
European and American AIDS is pneumonia, Candidiasis, Kaposi's,
wasting disease, and so on. There is overlap, but they are certainly
very different in their major distributi on.
AIDS risk is a curiosity. If you can take the number of antibody-positive
Americans, estimated at one million, 30,000 to 40,000, now more
like 50,000, get AIDS, like 3 or 4% per year. But if you look in
Africa, the World Health Organization s ays there are six million
HIV-positives and only about 30,000, at least in the past couple
of years, have annually been reported to have AIDS. So, the annual
AIDS risk for an HIV-positive person in Europe and America is about
3-4% and in Africa it's 0.3% . See, you already learned something
very practical from this talk. If you are antibody positive, immediately
move to Africa, (laughter) and your odds of getting AIDS are 10
times lower. That's very straightforward.
So from these
kind of comparisons, you can clearly see we are dealing with two
entirely different epidemics, and epidemiologically, 50 and 90%
male are extremely different. There is no infectious disease that
is ever so unevenly distributed. Virtually all of them are 50%.
So it is very difficult to find a common cause. Even within America,
we have different risk groups and we have different sub-epidemics
that have totally different risks and have totally different diseases.
Most characteristically, the male homosexuals who are HIV-positive,
they have an annual AIDS risk of about 5%, 4-6%. That translates
into a so-called latent period of ten years for 50% of them to get
AIDS. That's just another way of expressing it. It makes it more
easy to compare...that's why I put it together in that table, on
an annual basis.
Now you can
see, the homosexuals are almost the only ones who ever develop Kaposi's
sarcoma. I'll give you a reason why that is. But the American transfusion
recipients have a much higher risk of developing AIDS when they
are HIV positive. It's about 50% per year. But they get never anything
like Kaposi's or dementia or wasting disease. They always get infectious
diseases, primarily pneumonia.
babies also have a higher risk than the homosexuals and the intravenous
drug diseases. Their diseases are mostly neurological diseases,
retardation and dementia, and bacterial infections, which until
January, 1993, were not seen in other gro ups.
groups have different diseases and as you can see from the annual
AIDS risk, spanning from Africans to Americans to recipients of
transfusions, they vary over 100-fold. That is totally incompatible
with a common cause or a common infectious agent. There is not one
virus, not one microbe, that is so selective and so different in
different groups, in different countries, or causes different diseases
on top of it. It's virtually impossible that this is due to a common
Now, if you
were to decide what AIDS is caused by, you should ask first...we
should have asked at the beginning, is AIDS actually an infectious
disease? Even the CDC considered lifestyle interpretations until
the famous Gallo-Heckler press conference. Bec ause that came from
the NIH, it was binding to all public health institutes in the country,
to the CDC, to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and to all
recipients of research grants, which means everybody who is doing
research in the free state univer sities in this country. Like it
or not, they all depend on Robert Gallo, Sam Broder, and Anthony
Fauci for their grants, because otherwise their machines would stop
grinding because these universities could never pay for the equipment
that we need in the laboratory. It all comes from the central government.
We have totalitarian science directed entirely from Washington in
hypothetically free universities. You can survive with tenure but
you certainly cannot run a centrifuge or pay your graduate students
or write a paper if you don't have a government grant.
So the government
controls the scientists totally centrally, even at universities
that represent themselves as reservations of academic freedom, which
has long been sacrificed due to the high costs of high technology
which we are practicing now.
Now, if we
wanted to distinguish between infectious and not, here are the hallmarks
of infectious diseases versus non-infectious diseases: All infectious
diseases, zero exceptions, all of them, viruses, bacteria, fungi,
you name it, are equally distributed between the sexes. Of course,
if you look at a narrow enough group, if you look at a monastery,
that is male or female, which is what they do in cohort research,
you'll find it all of the sudden infecting only the boys or the
girls. But if you averag e it out over 250,000,000 Americans, 200,000,000
Europeans, or a billion Africans, you will always find it equally
distributed between the sexes. No exceptions.
diseases strike within weeks, days, or at the most, months of infection.
There are no slow viruses or slow microbes. There are slow virologists,
but no slow viruses. (Laughter) The reason is very simple. Microbes
are very simple in design. They have generation times of minutes
or hours or days. And for them, the human body or animal body is
a hundred liters of juice in which they replicate as fast and as
much as they can. There is no control for that. They take what they
can get. The only restriction for them is the human or the animal
immune system. A good immune system stops them right at the border.
As soon as they penetrate host territory, it says "Here's the
enemy-stop it." So it's an asymptomatic infection.
If the immune
system is poor, they penetrate deeper into it and if there is no
immune system, then bye-bye host. The microbe takes over. That takes
weeks at the very most. Microbes are essentially self-replicating
toxins. Lets say a cigarette is consi dered a toxin. We have to
smoke 20 years to build up enough toxicity to get lung cancer and
emphysema. With a microbe, you need just one cigarette, because
that cigarette makes billions of cigarettes right in your own body.
That's what a microbe is lik e. It's a self-replicating toxin. That's
why microbes are fast or never. It's not to say that it can't come
back or hang in there for a long time, but the rule is that they
strike now or never. There is no precedent for a case where you
say, "I was at wild party, it was wonderful, but doctor, would
I get a venereal disease?" The doctor says, "When was
the party," and the patient says "Four weeks ago,"
so he says "Don't worry, it's okay."
But not nowadays.
You have a great party. You ask the doctor "Do I get AIDS?"
And he says, "Come back ten years from now?" [You say]
"What do I get?" "Well, diarrhea, dementia, can't
say." It doesn't even matter with whom you slept. If the person
you slept with had diarrhea, you could have Kaposi's sarcoma 15
years from now. That's totally inconsistent with the virus hypothesis.
Nothing like that ever existed before in virology or microbiology.
The disease followed soon or it didn't follow. The y can come back.
Virus reactivation and things like that. But the primary response
is now or never.
Now look at
non-infectious diseases, what the characteristics are: They spread
non-randomly, depending on exposure to the toxin. Smokers are almost
the only ones who get lung cancer and emphysema. Others can get
it too, but it is very rare. It is very strictly restricted to these
risk groups. Liver cirrhosis is common among those who drink a bottle
of Schnapps per day and other sources. And those who drink tea,
you hardly ever see cirrhosis. The diseases do not follow after
the party when you take drugs. Everybody, even the President, occasionally
exhaled some drug (laughter) but it takes a long time and yet it
would be nice to be close to him...secondary exposure I guess. (Laughter).
You could have
a party on cocaine with two or three or five or ten and you get
out of the gutter, take a cold shower, brush your teeth, and eat
some vitamins and you're fine. But if you do it every day for ten
years, that's what's euphemistically called the latency period of
the virus. Then you check in with pneumonia. Then you find a little
virus there.?? That is how drugs work. You have to smoke two packs
of cigarettes for 20 years before you get pneumonia of before you
get emphysema and you have t o drink two bottles of Schnapps a day
for 20 years before you get liver cirrhosis. The drugs, they have
"latent periods" because the human body is designed to
live with a lot of junk, we grew up on this planet when it was much
less hospitable than it is now. We were living with a lot of dirt.
We are designed to take a lot of intoxication before we succumb
to it. But we were not designed to inject cocaine three times a
day for ten years. That is a very recent development in the history
of the human ra ce. And that is what can break down the immune system
after a long time.
So, my hypothesis
is very simple, therefore: AIDS in America and Europe, not in Africa,
is exclusively the consequence of the long-term consumption of recreational
drugs such as injected drugs, cocaine and heroin, and unfortunately
AZT, which is by far the most toxic drug that has ever been approved
for long-term consumption in the free world, and is now prescribed
if a patient has antibodies to HIV as AIDS prophylaxis, and those
who have already AIDS, as AIDS therapy. That is one of the most
toxic drugs out.
So, how can
I back up this hypothesis? Chronologically, the drug use epidemic
in America and subsequently in Europe started after the Viet Nam
War. Here are some data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics: In
1980, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported seizures of 500
kilograms of cocaine in the whole United States. In 1990, ten years
later, they confiscated 100,000 kilograms of cocaine. Perhaps you
recall there was a garage confiscated with two or three tons of
the good stuff in it, 100 tons con fiscated two or three years ago.
A couple of tons were confiscated three years ago. The number has
gone up since.
So the consumption
of cocaine has gone up 200-fold in their books. They estimate they
confiscate 10% of the good stuff. Ten years ago, and the same percentage
now, because as soon as Congress approves an increased budget for
the drug agencies, the drug lords get immediate higher payments
on the street and can double their equipment as well. So the amount
that is confiscated has stayed exactly the same.
the consumption has gone up 50-fold in the past ten years, according
to the Narcotics Bureau, from 2 million confiscated to 100 million
confiscated. And again, they estimate they confiscate 10% of the
stuff. So if you multiple that by ten, you have 100,000,000, that's
divided by four or five doses for every American. Since I didn't
use mine in that year, there's a little more for a couple of others.
250 thousand Americans used nitrite inhalants in 1980. That trend
is declining; it's goin g down. Most of them actually were the gays.
Eight million Americans are currently using cocaine regularly, which
is not terribly well-defined; that means several times a week.
(Gap in lecture
while changing tapes.)
80,000 of the
250,000 American AIDS patients are intravenous drug users. Almost
all heterosexual AIDS patients are intravenous drug users in America.
The same is true in Europe. Now the biggest risk groups, though,
are male homosexuals. The CDC and als o the Narcotics offices do
not take oral drugs like poppers, nitrite inhalants, and so on very
seriously. Cocaine, yes, but not the others. They are not recorded
as health risks 10% of Western men and perhaps women are considered
to be homosexual. That is 8 million adult male homosexuals in this
country, the same percentage in Europe. But only 25,000 of these,
0.2%, gets AIDS. We're talking about a small minority, that minority
that is said to practice risk behavior, which have many sexual contacts,
r ecord numbers of them, hundreds, sometimes even thousands. Those
records are not achieved with the conventional sex drugs, that is,
testosterone and estrogen. Like in the Olympics, the records in
the bedrooms are now broken with chemicals. Here is a list of chemicals
that are used.
This is a CDC
statistic: shortly before the virus hypothesis was published by
Jaffe, a group of 170 AIDS patients, 96% of them have reported regular
use of nitrite inhalants. Nitrites are the mutagens and carcinogens
that were known to molecular biology and in my opinion are the direct
cause of Kaposi's sarcoma and also pneumonia. Ethyl chloride inhalants,
cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine, you add up the percentages
and you can see that everyone has used at least several of these
drugs at once. In 1987, a group in San Francisco, almost exactly
the same numbers, again from the CDC from public health studies
reporting these numbers.
So the drug
use correlates very well with those gays who are at risk for AIDS
and with all heterosexuals who are intravenous drug users. The remainder
are the hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients. They have diseases
that would have occurred in the ab sence of drugs. That has to do
with their condition, and we can explain those in a minute.
Now in order
to prove that drugs rather than HIV are the cause of AIDS, we would
have to show that among those who are HIV infected, only those who
also use drugs get AIDS, or we have better yet controls in which
drug users without HIV get the same diseases. Here are a few examples
of both of these predictions:
Here are some
groups...here is a group of 65 intravenous drug users from New York
that were persuaded or asked to go into a medical program. I think
it was half of them, I'll have to check that, continued to use drugs.
They could not be persuaded. They came to the clinic but they continued
to inject drugs. They lost 35% of their T-cells per year over a
two-year period. The group that didn't continue the drugs, that
was either on methadone or withdrew altogether, maintained their
T-cell level from the point where they entered the study.
A similar experiment
was published in Zurich in Switzerland, which had a rather liberal
drug policy. They handed out drugs and needles. Those who continued
on drugs for a year or two after the program started had three times
the incidence of AIDS-definin g diseases like pneumonias and T-cell
deficiencies compared to those who had discontinued the drugs.
Here in Los
Angeles was a group of 11 persons on AZT. They all gave up AZT a
year ago, it was published in The Lancet, in favor of an experimental
vaccine. Ten out of eleven recovered cellular immunity within two
weeks. It was in The Lancet. So AZT was clearly highly involved
in suppressing the immune system. Well, the bone marrow is one of
the most susceptible parts to AZT chain termination because it's
one of the fastest growing cells in the body. It's killing the bone
marrow. That's essentially what I'm saying. It's AIDS by prescription.
There are other
examples of AZT recipients when they discontinue it, they recovered
from muscle atrophy, or they recovered their bone marrow when the
AZT was discontinued.
Here are some
examples of people where we are comparing the same diseases in the
same risk groups in the absence and presence of HIV. These would
be the HIV-free AIDS cases. They would be called officially by the
Center for Disease Control now, more recently, ICLs, idiopathic
CD4+ lymphocytopenia diseases. I've practiced a lot; now I can say
it with little hesitation in between. (Laughter)
So now look
at New York City intravenous drug users, reporting in Science, one
of the major AIDS journals these days. There were something like
50 cases with and without HIV. They had exactly the same diseases,
the same pneumonias, the same tuberculosis , the same endocarditis.
There was a group of homosexuals in New York who had all used poppers.
All of them had Kaposi's sarcoma; not one of them had HIV.
Again, a group
of intravenous drug users in New York who had been followed for
20 years. Their T-cells had declined way down to below 200 or 400.
Only 2 out of the 21 were HIV positive in that example.
In Sweden and
in Germany, the mortality of junkies with and without HIV was compared
and was found to be exactly the same. In Amsterdam, 300 junkies
were compared for HIV. They had all immune deficiency. Immunodeficiency
is based on T-cell counts and is based on symptomatic infections.
100-something were HIV positive; 200 were HIV negative. They had
exactly the same diseases. Again, in New York, intravenous drug
users with fever, weight loss, night sweats, diarrhea, and mouth
infections, all classic al AIDS diseases-the same with and without
Here in San
Francisco, crack babies, babies born to mothers who use drugs during
pregnancy, that was published last year, 8 with HIV, 20 without
HIV, had the same mental retardation, neuromotor problems, and developmental
retardation. Another study had 19 babies born to drug-addicted mothers.
18 were HIV-free; one was positive, and all had the same immunodeficiencies.
So, the conclusion
is that drugs can easily explain the American AIDS epidemic and
they resolve all of the problems that the virus/AIDS hypothesis
has failed to do. Here's just a few of them: How come is AIDS new
when the virus is old? Well, AIDS is ne w because of the drug epidemic
in America. It started after the Viet Nam War and escalated over
100-fold in the past ten years alone, according to the Bureau of
Justice statistics and those from the National Institute of Drug
Abuse. Why are males the only targets in Europe and America? There
again, we have the answer if we look at the numbers from the Bureau
of Justice statistics and also European statistics.
80% of the hard recreational drugs, that is cocaine and heroin.
Women are far behind in that regard. They are catching up. It doesn't
mean they're smarter, you see. It's like smoking. Smoking started
with men. Men had lung cancer 20 years ago exclusively. Now women
are catching up, proving that they're not smarter than men. (Laughter).
Now the same is happening with AIDS. Women are catching up with
AIDS and women are injecting drugs more than they did 15 years ago.
Gays are the
only sexual group that use consistently drugs for sex. There again,
I'll point out it's a very small minority. And they use nitrite
inhalants to facilitate anal intercourse. Nitrite inhalants were
used initially, prescription drugs a hundr ed years ago, to relax
smooth muscle, to prevent heart attack and angina, in small doses
like 0.2 milliliters. People who are on those drugs usually don't
live very long and you can't look at long-term side effects. But
users of sexual aphrodisiacs, as they are used, or sexual stimulants
in gay bars, in sometimes milliliters, 50 milliliter doses. That's
what a dose is called in that instance. And some of the gays came
into the hospital with 75% of their hemoglobin oxidized to methemoglobin
from inhalation of nitrite inhalants.
As I said,
they are the traditional carcinogens in cancer research and mutagens
in genetic research. And they are considered harmless by the medical
orthodoxy! They tell you, make sure your condoms are clean and your
needles are shiny...that's all you have to worry about. We are not
cops...drugs are fine. That's unfortunately what Project Inform
tells it clients in San Francisco: Drugs are fine; viruses are dangerous.
And here we go continuing inhaling classical mutagens and carcinogens
at milliliter doses, when we know for years that they are carcinogens
So it explains
the maleness of AIDS in the Western world. In Africa, it's equally
distributed because it's not a drug disease in Africa. In Africa,
AIDS builds out of malnutrition, parasitic infections, and poor
Now, why did
AIDS science go wrong? Here we are, essentially science is progressive,
we know everything and we think we have everything under control.
It's not easy to explain to many people, but we are under the spell
of the only triumph that medicine. ..virology...has really ever
achieved in terms of public health benefits. And that is the elimination
of infectious diseases. Starting with Pasteur and Koch and ending
with Salk and Sabin, with the elimination of polio.
And in the
spell of this and the admiration of the germ theory, everybody in
the medical profession, immuno-biology, is inclined to look for
an infectious agent long before they want to consider alternatives,
which are much less popular and much less solvable. And look, the
price for this is enormous. In the 20s, the U.S. Public Service,
the precursor of the NIH and the CDC, decided that the pellagra
epidemic in this country that killed tens of thousands of farmers
was an infectious disease, transmitted very much like AIDS, by sex
and poor hygiene. Until a doctor...a pharmacologist from New York,
finally discovered it was a nutritional deficiency that turned out
to be a vitamin B deficiency.
we are saying that cervical cancer in women is due to human papillomavirus.
Ten years ago, it was herpes virus, you remember. There was just
a study at Berkeley. It studied 400 female students on the Berkeley
campus. 250 were papillomavirus positive. In reality, 50% of all
women in this country have these papillomaviruses and men have them
too, and the incidence of cervical cancer is totally independent
of it. The percentage of women with cervical cancer with and without
papillomavirus reflects exactly the percentage of papillomavirus
in this country. No evidence whatever.
AIDS is said
to be a viral disease and is in reality is drug disease. The most
recent example is chronic fatigue, which is said to be a yuppie
or female disease. It's also said to be a retrovirus now. That's
coming up in the literature now.
So, my conclusion
then is, if I turn out to be right, this would be a very testable,
very easy hypothesis to test. We could feed the drugs that I blame
AIDS on, readily to experimental animals and it would be in fact
a picnic to find human volunteers as well. We could check those
effects on them and see whether these drugs are pathogenic. There's
plenty of literature to document that these drugs are all pathogenic.
They have been in the past and are now, and there is even now some
data that these drug s are all pathogenic. AZT, nobody has to ask
a question about it. It was developed to kill cells and it does
it exquisitely well. Nitrites are mutagenic and carcinogenic, and
cocaine has traditionally caused pneumonia, weight loss and tuberculosis,
way back in the early part of the century when the first cocaine
users were studied in Vienna and Paris around the days of Sigmund
Freud when everybody thought cocaine was totally chic, it even was
in Coca-Cola then in low doses.
It is also
totally testable epidemiologically. And that's really a shame, considering
the money that is spent in AIDS research, that this is not done.
We could take a hundred hemophiliacs with HIV, 100 without, matched
for all parameters, and see who ge ts AIDS diseases. There is not
one such study in the AIDS literature that has ever shown that HIV
causes AIDS diseases. There are 80 studies alone that I know that
show the opposite, that show it makes no difference, but they are
this could be done with intravenous drug users. You could compare
a hundred with and without HIV, or gays with and without HIV. No
controlled study is ever done because it would threaten or perhaps
kill the virus/AIDS hypothesis.
So, in my opinion,
then, AIDS is a totally preventable disease and could in fact be
a largely curable disease if we would consider it as a toxic disease
caused by recreational drugs. I conclude by sort of dedicating this
to all those who are unfortunatel y misled by the current hypothesis,
all intravenous drug users and all drug users, the victims of AZT,
who were never told that these drugs cause AIDS diseases, and to
all those antibody positives, and there are millions, unfortunately,
who were never tol d that the HIV hypothesis is unproven, and as
we know recently, based on four fraudulent papers. The papers by
Gallo, on which the hypothesis is based, are found to be fraudulent
on several counts by the Office of Research and Technology of the
National Institute of Health.
Thank you very