Prelude to Flegg’s references 13 April 2003
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David Rasnick,
Chief Science Officer, Boveran, Inc.
San Ramon, CA 94583

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Re: Prelude to Flegg’s references

Dear Editor,

Peter Flegg recently offered to provide references to support his statement that, "HIV is more efficiently transmitted in the acute phase of infection than subsequently." That, of course, assumes from the beginning that HIV is sexually transmitted. Recall that I began the current debate on the sexual transmission of HIV in late January with these words:

"I challenge Dr. Gareth Lloyd to come up with the names (even one will do) of the persons who are documented to have shown that AIDS (or even HIV) is sexually transmitted. I know of no such study. In fact, the scientific, medical literature is full of evidence that neither AIDS nor HIV is sexually transmitted. It is only assumed that they are."

It is now mid April and we still don't have those names. Therefore, I asked Flegg to "please provide the references that prove that HIV is sexually transmitted--efficiently or even inefficiently". In short, provide the evidence that HIV is sexually transmitted at all.

Instead of providing such references, Flegg says "Rasnick...now seems to want references for the evidence that HIV causes AIDS or that HIV is sexually transmitted. Rasnick has been given more than enough references concerning these facts in the past, not only during exchanges on fora such as the BMJ's rapid response section, but during his time on Mbeki's Presidential Panel."

It is true that Foley, Flegg and others have offered numerous references during the course of this debate but so far not one has come close to providing the proof or even likelihood that HIV or AIDS is sexually transmitted. After several exchanges it was grudgingly conceded by some of my opponents that the Padian et al. study [1] did not produce the evidence that HIV was sexually transmitted. Flegg attempts to skirt this fundamental problem by saying "Rasnick has been given more than enough references concerning these facts".

Peter Flegg, if not for me, then for the sake of the many observers of this debate who do not work on AIDS and who have not delved into the labyrinth of AIDS literature, could you please provide at least a short list of names of the individuals who have published the proof (along with the year of publication) that HIV and AIDS are sexually transmitted--and while you're at it, the names of those who proved that HIV causes AIDS? Since the contagious, sexually transmitted, HIV-caused AIDS dogma was set in stone in the 1980s, the proof (if it exists) should logically have been published some time in the 1980s.

Peter Flegg, do you dispute this reasoning? If you do, on what specific grounds? If the contagious/HIV hypothesis was not proved in the 1980s, then when and where was it proved?

With regards to the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel, one of the reasons that Thabo Mbeki invited the mainstream AIDS doctors and scientists to share the same space with physicians and scientists from around the world who question, criticize and even dispute the contagious HIV hypothesis of AIDS was for the participants to challenge each other publicly to either prove their respective cases or disprove their opponents' claims. In the absence of proof for specific claims, the members of the panel were to come up with experiments and studies to settle the unanswered questions. The panel recommended 10 experiments and studies to test the fundamental assertions of the contagious/ HIV hypothesis of AIDS [2]. President Mbeki has authorized and provided funding for all ten.

I actively participated in the meetings in Pretoria and Johannesburg in 2000. During the entire process, I did not observe the mainstream members of the panel try to produce even a shred of evidence for the contagious/HIV hypothesis of AIDS. We minority members of Mbeki's Panel certainly pressed the mainstream for that evidence. Nor did they try to prove the dissidents wrong. The mainstream chose to remain silent on the disputed issues. Silence on such important issues is not a sign of confidence in one’s position.

Here is a short list of what the mainstream members of Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel did not do. They did not attempt to provide the evidence that HIV is sexually transmitted. They did not attempt to show that AIDS is sexually transmitted. They did not attempt to show how or even that HIV causes AIDS. They did not attempt to show that the anti-HIV drugs do more good than harm. During both meetings, the mainstream members were present in body but not in spirit. Sitting at the table across from me, Luc Montagnier (the discoverer of HIV) actually fell asleep at one point during the meeting in Pretoria.

Flegg can't name the people who have shown that HIV or AIDS is sexually transmitted, or the people who have shown how HIV causes AIDS, or even name the people who showed that HIV causes AIDS--the most fundamental issue in dispute. Instead, he claims to know what went on at the meetings of Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel. I didn't recall Flegg participating in the Panel meetings so I searched the entire 134 page Interim Panel Report for his name and came up empty. A complete list of the participants follows the references. If he was in the audience, I can find no record of it.

Therefore, based on my first hand experience of what transpired in South Africa in May and July 2000, on what basis does Flegg claim that, "Rasnick has been given more than enough references concerning these facts...during his time on Mbeki's Presidential Panel"?

Next time I will analyze the references that Flegg cited that he claims "covers a spread of mutually-validating data [of] HIV's efficient [sexual] transmission in the acute stage of infection".

David Rasnick

References

1. Padian, N. S., et al. (1997) Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in northern California: results from a ten-year study, Am J Epidemiol 146, 350-357,

2. Secretariat for Thabo Mbeki. (2001), March, PRESIDENTIAL AIDS ADVISORY PANEL REPORT, Johannesburg, http:// www.gov.za/reports/index.html

Participants at the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel meetings in South Africa, May and/or July 2000

Professor Salim S Abdool-Karim, Dr Stefano M Bertozzi, Dr Harvey Bialy, Dr Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Dr Etienne de Harven, Dr Ann Duerr, Professor Peter Duesberg, Dr Christian Fiala, Dr Helene Gayle, Dr Roberto A Giraldo, Dr ET Katabira, Dr Claus Koehnlein, Dr Manu VL Kothari, Dr Clifford Lane, Dr Marsha Lillie-Blanton, Dr Malegapuru W Makgoba, Professor Sam Mhlongo, Professor Ephraim Mokgokong, Professor Stephen Owen, Dr Jorge Perez, Dr David Rasnick, Mr David Scondras, Dr Joseph Sonnabend, Dr Zena Stein, Dr Gordon Stewart, Dr W Chalamira-Nkhoma, Dr Andrew Herxheimer, Proffesor Luc Montagnier, Dr Walter Prozesky, Dr Mark D Smith, Dr Stefano Vella, Dr Jose M Zuniga, Dr Stephen Chandiwana, Professor Roy Mugwera, Professor Eleni Papadopoulos-Eleopoulos, Prof Heinz Spranger, Dr Valender Turner, Professor Jerry Coovadia, Professor Charles Geshekter, Dr Glenda Gray, Dr Anthony Mbewu, Professor James McIntyre, Dr Lynn Morris, Dr Dan Ncayiyana, Dr Philip Onyebujoh, Dr Priscilla Reddy, Professor Barry Schoub, Professor Allan Smith, Dr Jimmy Volmink, Professor Allan Whiteside, Dr Carolyn Williamson, Mr Winston Zulu

Invited by the President but could not attend

Professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Dr Robert Gallo, Dr Kaptue, Dr Souleymane M'Boup, Professor Fred Mhalu, Professor Valerie Mizrahi, Professor Pierre Mpele, Dr Paranjape, Dr Praphan Phanuphak, Professor Robert Root-Bernstein, Dr Kary Mullis

Competing interests:   None declared