Alexander H Russell,
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Bennett sated: "Clearly women and heterosexual men do get AIDS -KS. It is biased towards homosexual men, but not restricted!"
Can Bennett cite one example of a white male or female heterosexual AIDS-KS in the West? If AIDS-KS is caused by HHV-8 - as Bennett would like us all to believe - then there would have been hundreds or thousands heterosexual AIDS-KS cases in the West by now. How many BMJ rapid response readers have seen hundreds or thousands of heterosexuals with AIDS-KS in the UK? Or even just one case of heterosexual AIDS-KS in the UK? Where are all the heterosexual AIDS-KS cases in the West?
Bennett continues: "In addition, his comment that 'all STDs have their origin in the heterosexual community and find their way into the homosexual community horizontally through sexual transmission by bisexual men' clearly shows he is forgetting that the introduction of HIV into the west was through homosexuals. They were the first risk group to be identified and several contact tracings show that 'patient zero' for a slew of early cases was a gay flight attendant, and similar cases were seen in the 'patient zeros' of other chains/networks of infected people in Europe (homosexual, travel to the US or Africa)."
What utter rubbish: Bennett is basing his entire argument on the purely anecdotal case of Gaetan Dugas, the flight attendant known sensationally as 'the angel of death'. This media manufactured apocalyptic anecdote proves absolutely nothing. Scientific fact does not depend on mere media anecdotes and unproven suppositions. If the course of the supposed 'spread' of 'HIV' in the West is down to one person you have no case - apart from it being totally unbelievable. So where did homosexuals acquire 'HIV' from?
Anecdotal cases mean nothing: how and why did 'HIV' remain rigidly locked within a specific group of people: male homosexuals in the West? Bennett simply cannot explain why there has never been a heterosexual 'HIV' epidemic in the West. And the crass 'condom campaign' argument does not wash since there have been huge rises in STD rates in the West. There's no way a real infectious pathogen could remain confined to homosexuals in the West for more than 20 years. History has proved to us that 'HIV' is not an STD - no matter how much Bennett likes to keep on pretending otherwise.
Bennett stated in a recent rapid response (1 April, 2005): "It should not be forgotten that HIV is itself an infection."
I can only assume that Bennett's unfounded statement is an April Fool. Bennett has not provided proof that 'HIV' is an 'infection' so "it should be forgotten". If 'HIV' were a truly infectious agent there would be hundreds of thousands of 'HIV' positive male and female heterosexuals in the West by now – 20 years on - since the socio-political invention of 'HIV'. Thus: 'HIV' cannot be an infection or a pathogen. Can Bennett explain in precise detail the mechanism of sexual transmission of 'HIV', considering that a sufficient quantity of cell-free infectious 'HIV' particles to be deemed an infectious dose – has never been found in any semen sample taken from homosexual men – or indeed – any 'HIV' positive man.
Bennett goes on: "As regards HIV viability in syringes, this very work has, once again, been performed. Viable HIV has been cultured from syringes after up to 6 weeks at room temperature, albeit at low levels at the later time-points."
I am not talking about 'culturing' but the recovery of fresh, infectious cell-free 'HIV' from syringes: this has never been achieved.
Bennett concludes: "Duesberg's 'HIV-free AIDS cases' are an empty set of clearly non-AIDS patients. Harris points out (as I have been trying to do) that since AIDS is a decline in a specific subset of immune system cells, proper analysis of these "HIV free AIDS cases" shows that they do not have AIDS. By expecting only AIDS patients to have AIDS-indicator diseases both Duesberg and followers like Russell are demonstrating a lack of clinical experience, or simple literature analysis. This over- simplistic black-and-white thinking is characteristic of AIDS denialists, but unfortunately a side effect of media portrayal of science in precisely this manner. By cutting it up into bitesize chunks, one necessarily removes the underlying logic and explanations behind the conclusions. One form of 'non-HIV AIDS', idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia, (ICL) is very different from AIDS - to quote from Harris."
Harris is wrong and has moved the goal posts in re-defining 'AIDS' to dodge the embarrassing ICL issue. Contrary to Harris and Bennett's claims: 'ICL' is not different (from the CDC's) definition of 'AIDS' – rather: ICL is 'AIDS' without 'HIV' – a concept that Harris and Bennett cannot seem to grasp - so fixated are they with the 'HIV' cause. For Harris and Bennett's "over-simplistic black-and-white thinking" anyone deemed to be 'HIV' positive with a disease-condition will automatically have 'AIDS'.
Does Bennett really know what 'AIDS' is? We are not "AIDS denialists" - as Bennett so patronisingly states - but we are 'AIDS' deconstructionists: teasing-out the absurdities, anomalies, contradictions inherent in the simplistic black-and-white 'AIDS' construct characteristic of the sound-bite 'AIDS' believers.
As Peter Duesberg has argued: not all 'AIDS' diseases/conditions can be explained by immunodeficiency:(1)
"Some of the AIDS diseases could possibly be autoimmune diseases. Certainly not all. 38 percent of American AIDS cases have nothing to do with immune deficiency. 38 percent. 10 percent are Kaposi sarcomas, 19 percent are this so-called wasting disease...They name it AIDS, that's all. None of these 38 percent have anything whatsoever to do with immunodeficiency, but they're called AIDS…There's not one AIDS disease that's new. What is new is only the incidence of these diseases in 20-to 45-year-old men, mostly, and a few women, has gone up."
(1): Peter Duesberg, interviewed by Bob Guccione, Jr., Spin Magazine, September, 1993.
Competing interests: None declared