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Posts Tagged ‘AIDS’

French Virologist Luc Montagnier is credited with having co-discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and was co-recepient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2008.

In an uncut interview for the documentary House of Numbers, Dr. Montagnier shares some insights that may surprise those with common knowledge of HIV and AIDS.

My main takeaways from Montagnier’s interview is how global awareness and solutions are influenced by profitability rather than human welfare. Too much funding is devoted towards vaccines and treatment of diseases but not enough on basic nutrition, education, and healthcare.

Like the Global Warming debate that doesn’t seem to die, the AIDS debate is an interesting deja vu with new (or old) twists finally seeing public scrutiny.

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In this talk from TED, Emily Oster a University of Chicago economist, looks at the stats on AIDS in Africa — and comes up with a stunning conclusion: Everything we know about AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is wrong. We look for root causes such as poverty and poor health care — but we also need to factor in, say, the price of coffee, and the routes of long-haul truckers. In short, there is a lot we don’t know; and our assumptions about what we do know may keep us from finding the best way to stop the disease.

Emily’s talk is a good example of using inference from existing information and adopting a culture of critical thinking to challenge relevant issues and shape policies to deal with them.

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AIDS and HIV are two aspects of world society we now have come to take for granted since its emergence in the 1980s. The disease and the virus that causes it have become staple facts that no one dares to challenge.

However, the ease and availability of information via the internet have made it possible for myths and propaganda to be challenged, and recently AIDS dissidents have found a voice to air their side. The basic facts about AIDS commonly accepted now:

  • HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
  • HIV was first contracted in Africa from monkeys.
  • HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with infected partners, secondarily from infected needles, tertiarily from infected mothers to their infants.
  • Irresponsible homosexual males and intravenous drug abusers are at high risk from AIDS, but everyone is at risk from the disease.
  • These are the facts, or are they? What if like many things taken for granted, AIDS is simply the product of clever marketing and potent propaganda?

    Gary Null produced a video that tackles these very issues and provides a venue for AIDS dissidents to speak out. Check out Null’s work here.

    The debate that has sparked since Null’s documentary have people taking rabid sides. Two websites present their arguments and counter-arguments on this issue:

    1. VirusMyth is a website dedicated to AIDS dissidents presented by Gary Null. They compile petitions, testimonials, and research disproving the basic facts about AIDS.
    2. In response to VirusMyth, AIDSTruth.org was formed to debunk the counter-arguments of AIDS dissidents, classifying them as denialists and their research as pseudo-science. The website presents research of its own that answes the basic challenges of AIDS denialists.

    Considering the massive global funding on AIDS, this debate is one of the most controversial of our times and is a perfect study in the ability of an idea to take on a life of its own.

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