Did that grab your attention?? We hope so!
Many of our readers are fluent in ‘HIV speak’, our service users, volunteers, partner agencies and the many people who subscribe to our blog and follow us on twitter. We don’t need to be told that HIV doesn’t exist because we know it does and have first-hand experience of the condition.
You could argue that within our industry, we have blinkers on, we see people infected and affected by HIV on a daily basis, we support people and we advocate. We assist when people are victim to prejudice and stigma. We offer emotional support to people when they need it most and we research the condition.
Yet for some people, it’s hard to believe that HIV is a real condition. Some people believe that the HIV virus and its associated medical paraphernalia is a fabrication by pharmaceutical companies to create expensive drugs and keep people using them.
Others believe that HIV already has a cure, but this is being kept secret in order to keep the drug companies (i.e. Big Pharma) in business.
HIV/AIDS denialism is the belief, contradicted by conclusive medical and scientific evidence HIV does not cause AIDS. Some denialists reject the existence of HIV, while others accept that HIV exists but say that it is a harmless passenger virus and not the cause of AIDS. Insofar as denialists acknowledge AIDS as a real syndrome, they attribute it to some combination of sexual behaviour, recreational drugs, malnutrition, poor sanitation, haemophilia, or the effects of the drugs used to treat HIV infection in the first place.
The scientific consensus is that the evidence showing HIV to be the cause of AIDS is conclusive and that AIDS-denialist claims are pseudoscience based on conspiracy theories, faulty reasoning, cherry picking, and misrepresentation of mainly outdated scientific data. With the rejection of these arguments by the scientific community, AIDS-denialist material is now targeted at less scientifically sophisticated audiences and spread mainly through the Internet.
Despite its lack of scientific acceptance, HIV/AIDS denialism has had a significant political impact, especially in South Africa under the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. Scientists and physicians have raised alarm at the human cost of HIV/AIDS denialism, which discourages HIV-positive people from using proven treatments.
What do you think about this? – Fancy a chat with the Skeptics?
“Skeptics in the Pub” are a group of people in Leicester who like getting together in a pub to have a few beers and talk about ‘nonsense’.
Each month, they find a speaker – typically a scientist or prominent sceptic who will speak for around 40 minutes. The subjects of the talks vary, but they will typically be about a common belief that either cannot be justified by the available evidence, or that can actually be demonstrated to be false by the available evidence.
Examples of these subjects are:
- Alternative Medicine
- Psychics & Mediums
- Religious Beliefs
- Holocaust Denial
In the early days of the AIDS epidemic many bizarre and dangerous ideas were advanced regarding the origin of the disease and its cause. Since the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) these conspiracy theories, which once filled the void left by the lack of information, have all but vanished. Over the past three decades HIV has been the subject of intense scientific research which has resulted in effective treatments, rapid HIV tests, and promising cures. Yet unbelievably there are a small number of people who are sceptical of the “official story”. Although these people are small in numbers they are extremely well funded and can pose a very real threat to public health.
In this talk Myles discusses some examples of the dangerous assertions in the documentary ‘House of Numbers’ and explains how they have led to the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. He will also talk about the failure of the DMCA and how it can be exploited by the proponents of pseudoscience.
The talk is at 7:30pm on Tuesday, 19th August at The Font (52 Gateway Street, Leicester)
So if you fancy the debate, why not pop along it’s sure to be interesting!
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