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Positively False: Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS - 16th Anniversary Edition Paperback – January 14, 2015
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"A gripping, timely, story of investigative journalism with analysis of the flaws in HIV/AIDS theory: that would still be an accurate description of this book, some fifteen years after it was first published."
Henry H. Bauer, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Science Studies, and Emeritus Dean of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
About the Author
Joan Shenton is an independent tele-journalist whose documentaries include Positively False - Birth of a heresy (which was based on the original edition of Positively False: Exposing the Myths around HIV and AIDS) and Positive Hell.
She has also produced documentaries on a variety of health issues for mainstream British television, earning Royal Television Society Journalism and British Medical Association awards.
She currently runs the Immunity Resource Foundation (IRF) which catalogues and disseminates alternative ideas on AIDS
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The author is a documentary film maker, and the book is, among other things, about her journeys of discovery as she produced four documentaries pushing HIV denialism. Her main points are: (1) There has been no heterosexual pandemic; (2) AIDS has remained firmly locked into the originally identified high-risk groups; (3) AIDS has not behaved like a sexually transmitted disease; (4) No HIV has been isolated and thus there is no proof it is an infectious agent; (5) No cure for AIDS has been found.
We can immediately grant her point #5 but this does not help establish her argument. No cures for *any* viral diseases have been found until a cure for hepatitis C was discovered in the past decade.
She is wrong about point #4, although this may be due to the datedness of her text. HIV has been isolated and described in exquisite detail. She is on slightly firmer grounds about the claim concerning HIV as an infectious agent. In order to be deemed an infectious agent, that agent must meet four criteria known as Koch's postulates: (1) the agent must be present in all cases of the disease; (2) the agent can be isolated from a diseased host and grown in pure culture; (3) the agent must cause the disease when taken from the culture and inoculated into a laboratory animal; (4) the agent must be re-isolated from the newly infected host and shown to be the same as the originally isolated agent.
HIV meets the second of Koch's postulates, but the remaining three are more problematic. Because of the expense involved in testing, many of the cases diagnosed as AIDS in Africa were made from the symptoms presented. There are numerous instances of AIDS symptomatology in African cases which subsequently proved to be HIV-negative. We're on more solid ground on meeting Koch's third and fourth postulates. Because HIV is *human* immunodeficiency virus, it would be highly unethical to purposely inoculate someone with HIV. Inoculating other primates with HIV is ineffective as there is a sister virus, simian immunodeficiency virus, which infects these other primates but not HIV. However, in the years since Shenton's book was published, scientists have developed Frankensteinian technologies to manipulate genetic sequences of mice and other animals. Scientists have developed strains of mice susceptible to HIV, and have satisfied Koch's third and fourth postulates in this manner.
Shenton attempts to support her first point -- there has been no heterosexual pandemic -- by undermining the evidence from Africa where the cases identified as AIDS are primarily in heterosexuals. She points to the evidence described above: most cases are identified not by an HIV test but by the symptoms presented. She argues that malnutrition, poor sanitation, as well as other diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are the actual causes of alleged cases of AIDS in Africa. She also points to evidence -- and here she has research evidence to support her claim -- that tuberculosis or malaria infection will cause a false positive on an HIV antibody test. She does not address the large number of heterosexual cases of AIDS in Asia, but she is right about no AIDS pandemic outside the original high-risk groups arising in North America or Europe.
I dispute her second claim -- AIDS has remained firmly locked in the originally identified high-risk groups -- in part based on my own experience. Shenton adopts a somewhat moralistic and condemnatory tone as she describes "gay life in the fast-lane," a life characterized by extensive use of nitrite inhalants known as poppers, excessive drug abuse of a wide range of drugs, and extreme promiscuity leading to repeated infection by sexually transmitted diseases. While I am gay, I have *never* lived this "gay lifestyle in the fast-lane" Shenton describes in such judgemental tones. I have used poppers only two or three times because they give me blinding headaches. The only drug I have ever "abused" is marijuana; I don't even consume alcohol because it, too, gives me headaches. I'm no angel, but I've had nowhere near the thousands of sexual partners Shenton describes as part of this lifestyle. Moreover, I have never had a single sexually transmitted infection. I do not fit into Shenton's description of this particular high-risk category, yet I was diagnosed with AIDS in 2007. My story is not an isolated case either.
Shenton's third claim -- AIDS does not behave like a sexually transmitted infection -- is more interesting one. Most STIs are readily transmissible. In most cases only a single contact with an infected person is sufficient to pass on the infection. However, HIV is *hard* to transmit; the CDC estimates a thousand or more contacts with an infected partner are needed in order to transmit the virus. In this manner, HIV indeed does not behave like other STIs.
Shenton is spot on target about the toxicity of AZT. In hindsight we now know that the doses being given to PLWHA were indeed too high, and while AZT is still prescribed today, it is much less often because there are far better drugs on the market. The text originally was published around the time the triple-drug cocktails were seen as the best approach for treating HIV, and Shenton was highly dubious about this approach, most likely because of what she had observed with AZT.
So Shenton is merely wrong, not wrong, wrong, wrong! Nevertheless she tells a riveting story as she tries to get to the truth about HIV and AIDS. I agree with her point that the entrenched HIV orthodoxy is wrong to simply shut out any researchers who do not adhere to the prevailing point of view. True science demands that "unorthodox" views be heard and addressed, not shouted down. I think the AIDS "denialists" bring up enough interesting points that they should be investigated further, even if it's only to disprove them. I do not believe the "denialists'" claims are on the same order as claims that the earth is flat or the sun revolves around the earth. As the editor of one journal drily noted, the famous paper by Watson and Crick announcing the discovery of DNA probably would be rejected in today's science environment.
I have no idea how anyone could possibly still hang onto the belief that HIV=AIDS after reading even the first 20 pages of this well done book.
Read the book!
It's as good as any book to get a handle on what the problem might be with AIDS.
I got on kindle and it was free to me from my Prime subscription. It's worth millions but it was free to read.
The only way you won't know there is a serious problem is if you don't read the book. If you do read it and doubt or think she's a liar, just read the cited references throughout. The references are the actual tests, the actual living, the dying, those having HIV and not having AIDS, etc. The overwhelming supporting data is what convinces the doubter. There is a “ton” of supporting data in the references. This book is well supported. And the references aren't by madmen or liars. They are scientists from all over the world. The data is overwhelming and completely supports the story she writes.
Up until three weeks ago, I also believed that HIV=AIDS, just like 99% of the world. I was as certain of it as I am an other widely held understanding in science.
I was previously convinced hearing so many officials, so many news outlets, repeating over and over again since the mid 1980's, that it must be real. Even the president of the US recently reaffirmed his intent to battle this thing. All the government web sites appear to reaffirm the same mantra, HIV=AIDS. I never heard that there was a singular dissenting voice. I was even HIV tested when I was single. How could the story be so very wrong? This book puts the pieces of the puzzle together. It makes sense of an otherwise mad scenario.
In 2015 my best friend died of cancer and it seemed to me that the chemo and botched up operations killed him. And I knew his underlying health and diet were poor for all his life. Seeing that after chemo he was near death. I wondered what happened to him. I began research into cancer and got side-tracked into the AIDS story. I could not stop reading and researching AIDS. I couldn't believe it! I slowly realized that I never did any research to support my belief in HIV=AIDS before, I just trusted the world and the well-established voices. But I learned they are promoting something very false and we are all sold what we've been told. The science absolutely doesn't support the mantra. The feeling was that of shock. Almost horror. How could virtually everyone be so very wrong about something so very, very important. I'm an engineer and part scientist, I read the actual test reports. I am shocked. How was I so deceived?
So I persisted like a hungry wild animal, reading everything I could get my hands on. I did this full time for three weeks (so far). I've ordered books, manuals, watched all the documentaries. But what made me reconsider was the actual science, laboratory tests; the work done by the world's leading experts in all the fields related to AIDS and retroviruses. What amazes me is one just has to look at the cited experiments cited by the government itself. I know the government remains steadfast in repeating the mantra that HIV=AIDS, but when I read their own assertions and read their own references, I discovered that the lab tests do not agree with what they are stating. That was probably the most convincing for me, that something is terribly wrong.
Joan has done a remarkable job. She managed to write a very interesting and appealing true story, yet she includes all the references. I don't believe anyone's statements anymore, especially after my research. All a person has to do is go to the references and read them. So far I've been able to find just about every reference and read the actual lab reports. I lost count of how many scientific laboratory tests are cited that place extreme doubt in the HIV=AIDS postulate. It simply doesn't hang together. Actually the science shows that HIV does not equal AIDS. We were all very wrong. It's hard to realize this and it's upsetting. The truth isn't being told other than low profile books like this one.
What Joan does additionally, that no one else does as well is that she builds, from quotations and facts, a very close up view of the actual characters who were central in the creation of this mess of getting the entire world to chase the wrong culprit, HIV. It's not just Joan's speculation, it's the voice of the man himself speaking, establishing a clear course of conduct. The rose is pinned, without a doubt, upon Dr Robert Gallo. But he was also enabled this time by a country's need to blame something (a virus) wrongly, instead of looking at the obvious and easily proven scientifically, that poor health habits leads to various diseases because of lowered immunity function.
This horrible mistake in blaming HIV, has lead the world down the wrong path, with the wrong medication. It's caused inordinate human suffering.
If you can only read a single book, this could be the one. Read it. You won't believe it at first. But go ahead and read some of the actual lab tests. You will realize that no reasonable person could possibly buy into the false story that HIV=AIDS when you see the actual source data, tests, experiments, and the real life statistics.
The only thing that's more convincing once you know the science doesn't support the false mantra of HIV=AIDS, is to listen to the persons affected directly. Watch them, listen to their story. They are all over YouTube. One of the most convincing ones is a doctor in Spain. He was diagnosed HIV-positive yet from his training knew AZT would kill and couldn't possibly help. So he didn't take it. He is fine and healthy, over thirty years later. But the death sentence nearly killed him at first being told he had HIV and that he would die from AIDS. I've talked to some of the surviving widows and listened to their first-hand testimony to me. We have been fooled. AIDS is not caused by HIV, not in any way. Read, discover, investigate.