Brian Foley's curiosity 26 September 2003
Previous Rapid Response Next Rapid Response Top
Peter J Flegg,
Consultant Physician
Blackpool, UK. FY3 8NR

Send response to journal:
Re: Brian Foley's curiosity

Brian Foley is left curious as to why the Perth Group has picked out the Human Immunodeficiency Viruses as the only viruses to challenge (Re: Finding wood among the trees.25th September 2003). I assume this is a rhetorical question, since deep down we already know why.

The facts are that around 1980 the originators of what was to become the "Perth Group" developed an interest in oxidative stress, and developed hypotheses about the clinical consequenses that might be associated with this disorder. The arrival of AIDS in the early 1980s must have seemed a like a godsend to their stress hypothesis. Here was a disease, a syndrome even, with multiplicity of presentation and uncertain aetiology - absolutely ideal material to link in with their theory, and it was embraced wholeheartedly.

That it was embraced prematurely and uncritically seems not to be of concern - the Perth Group remains untroubled by all the overwhelming scientific evidence that has subsequently accumulated concerning the aetiology of AIDS - anything suggesting that HIV is the cause, or even exists, must be challenged at all costs. Cognitive dissonance seems to be the order of the day. Therefore it is little wonder that they remain so dogmatic in their rejection of modern viral methodology, since to accept the facts would destroy their raison d'etre.

Competing interests:   Attendance at drug company-sponsored meetings