Thanks for replying to an old thread of mine, which in hindsight was not the best on the issue, and there have been many subsequent discussions
between the denialists (or as I term them, "rethinkers") and those who support mainstream science. Thankfully the rhetoric of the holocaust has
disappeared from public discourse in SA, where the supporters of the then government and the rethinkers accused AIDS activists of wanting to "poison"
the population with ARVs, and the activists and scientists accused the state of denying people proven medications due to their personal beliefs in
quack theories and pseudoscience.
Both the rethinkers and the mainstream scientists agree that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) exists. They disagree on what causes AIDS and
on how the immune deficiency is acquired and on the prognosis of death without ARVs. Then there's a main schism between two schools of rethinkers: the
Deusbergians (HIV exists but is a harmless carrier virus that doesn't cause AIDS) and the Perthians (HIV doesn't exist).
1. The death of HIV-positive rethinkers from AIDS related conditions cannot be blamed on self-fulfilling prophecies, since these people never believed
that HIV causes AIDS. To me it's obvious why they died of these conditions: they had HIV and ignored the medical treatments because they were misled,
and hence they progressed to AIDS and died. Their rethinking leaders blamed their deaths on everything from stress to hidden alcoholism or popper use.
Former rethinkers who changed their minds and accepted medical treatments did not die of these conditions.
2. Many viruses can take a long time to kill people. One thinks of Syphilis (tertiary Sypilis can take 3-15 years to present, and up to 25 years to
kill), or chronic Hepatitis C (asymptomatic for decades).
A long asymptomatic period makes a virus very successful, because the infected person remains healthy enough to spread the virus to many others.
This is why people should test and know their HIV status, because if one tests positive (and further tests confirm the diagnosis) one can take
measures to prevent reinfection with another strain and to protect others from HIV infection. One can also go on necessary treatments to manage HIV
and reduce viral loads. AIDS can develop well before 12 years.
3. HIV has been seen under the electron microscope and photographed.
4. More generally, one does not have to be promiscuous to get HIV.
Promiscuity does not cause HIV, it merely makes it more likely that one will have sexual contact and exchange body fluids with an infected person. If
two people are in monogamous relationship and one partner is infected it's likely that the other partner may become infected too (depending on whether
they use protection). Apparently Christine Maggiore had a former boyfriend who tested HIV positive, so he likely infected her.
Arthur Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart surgery.
At that time HIV carried a great stigma, and many celebrities did not disclose their status publicly, although the media speculated since the wasting
during the final stages of AIDS was difficult to hide.
Freddy Mercury famously publicly admitted his status a day before his death.
In SA it was common for doctors to write other diseases on the death certificates of people they suspected of dying from AIDS, often filling in one of
the secondary conditions that people develop due to the collapse of their immune system from HIV. This was done to spare the family scandal and public
stigma, and later it was also in line with the denialist policies of the health department.
So yes, people have died from AIDS without being diagnosed, especially in SA, although the families and communities often suspected what was wrong.
People dying from rare conditions first alerted doctors to AIDS, although it was once called different things like Gay Related Cancer (before it
became clear that non-gay groups were also infected and dying), or in parts of Africa people referred to it as "Slims disease", and even today in SA
people use euphemisms to describe somebody with AIDS (whether medically diagnosed or not) like "he's got the slow puncture".
The case of Tommy Morrison sounds interesting, although he's not known here at all.
From what is on Wikipedia the case sounds very confusing, but perhaps he had a false positive, or there was a blood mix-up. I'm surprised he didn't
have back-up tests after his initial diagnosis, which would be standard today. He has also been on medications that are known to make HIV loads
undetectable, so I'm not sure what tests he has subsequently used to support his claims.
False positives do happen, but it's far from playing Russian Roulette, since the percentages are very low, but there should always be a variety of
It's well known that Magic Johnson is on ARVs, and that's why he has survived for a long time.
edit on 11-10-2012 by halfoldman because: (no