The denial that there is compelling evidence that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). The scientific consensus is that AIDS has killed more than twenty-five million people worldwide and that HIV causes AIDS.
There are links to more detailed descriptions of what HIV/AIDS Deniers believe and who they are here
Two curious facts stand out about prominent HADers: few are highly qualified scientists with degrees from reputable universities and none of them has a background in epidemiology and has been directly involved in HIV or AIDS research.
Several reasons have been given by those within this movement for denying that the evidence is compelling that HIV causes AIDS:
- AIDS is not a well-defined disease entity but rather a sociopolitical construct or a single name for numerous diseases;
- HIV has never been isolated in pure form, so that the existence of HIV is questionable as is validation of HIV tests;
- Antiretroviral treatments have never been proven in properly controlled trials to effect clinical improvement or better health, let alone extended life;
- The existence of HIV has not been proven; HIV tests are unreliable; and there is no evidence for sexual transmission of HIV
- HIV exists but it’s harmless;
- HIV is not sexually transmitted and does not cause AIDS;
- Pharmaceutical firms know that antiretroviral drugs are ineffective at treating AIDS but effective at causing AIDS;
- AIDS deaths are caused by malnutrition, narcotics, and antiretroviral drugs.
Because of their beliefs, many HADers recommend that AIDS patients be treated with vitamins and herbs, massage, homeopathy, and a variety of unproven remedies.
A famous HADer is Former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, who was in office from 1999-2008. A Harvard University study estimates that the South African government would have prevented the premature deaths of 365,000 people (of those who died, 35,000 are estimated to be babies) during Mbeki’s term if it had provided antiretroviral drugs to AIDS patients and widely administered drugs to help prevent pregnant women from infecting their babies.
Additionally, The Health Minister under Mbeki, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, proposed garlic, lemon juice and beetroot as AIDS remedies.
In South Africa today, more than five million people are living with HIV and about 1,000 people a day die of AIDS.* Nearly two million have already died of the disease in that country. In other words, about one-fourth of the population either have HIV or have died from AIDS. South Africans spend more time at funerals than they do having their hair cut.*