Re: Reply to Bennett: 'HIV' is not an STD 17 September 2004
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Nicholas Bennett,
Infectious Disease Postdoc/Clinician
Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Syracuse NY

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Re: Re: Reply to Bennett: 'HIV' is not an STD

There is sadly not a lot I can say, apparently, to convince Mr Russell otherwise. These issues have been debated ad nauseum on the discussion group misc.health.aids. The same points have not changed in the 6 years I have been involved in educating the masses about HIV and AIDS, despite vast advances in the knowledge base of the condition. They weren't even valid 6 years ago, or for many when they were even written.

Mr Russell talks about "lazy virologists" and "correlation not causation" as if he knows these things as facts. No doubt he is aware that many other factors other than an infectious cause WERE considered prior to HIV, that drug use was specifically tested and refuted, that "lazy" techniques are not just acceptable and correct, but in some cases Gold Standard for proving a particular point. The criticisms levelled at HIV science have in nearly all cases already been considered and refuted. Just because the dissident literature he has clearly read states otherwise does not make it true.

His understanding and expectations of the field are clearly those of a non-scientist, which is completely understandable: but HIV research is no less standardised or rigourous than any other, and in some cases more so. To say otherwise is untrue.

The references in Field's are not "based" on any premise, they ARE the premise. That was my point. HIV started with a startling series of cases of KS and PCP in previously healthy men, and the story evolved from there.

Field's is actually quite well written, and if he can get hold of a copy (from a library! It's a bit expensive...) I recommend sitting down for a few hours with it.

Other than asking Mr Russel to re-educate himself regarding HIV (and believe me, having read most of the dissident literature myself with an open mind, I have been less than impressed with its truthfullness) I don't believe I have much more to say to him, and I wish him well.

Competing interests: Frustration borne of repetition.