I lived in Botswana in the 90’s and at the time Botswana was the Aids capital of the world according to the WHO. Everyone who lived in Botswana came into contact with people dieing of AIDS-related illnesses. I want to describe what happened to my friend’s partner. They started their relationship, and they were both tested for HIV. She was found to be HIV +ve. They lived together for a number of years, and she then developed full-blown AIDS. At this point she was not able to retain food, and eventually died. I know of other cases. At a staff meeting it was announced that a member of staff had developed AIDS, because of taboos her family would not look after, and she was living alone. Would we contribute? The collections lasted two months. I was intimate (unprotected) with someone who died of AIDS-related illness. She was a travelling worker and when she visited where I lived she stayed with me. then she stopped visiting, and I was told she in a hospice in Zambia. Then I heard nothing.
These stories were commonplace. Now Botswana did not have a drug-prevalence, AIDS was not spread by a gay population. However the culture was very promiscuous. At the time I accepted the explanation that HIV was passed through sexual contact without any doubts because of the promiscuity, and that this could then develop into full-blown AIDS. But even when I accepted this there were inconsistencies, especially the inconsistencies that I personally experienced. I believed at the time that if your health was strong you had a good chance of not contracting AIDS.
In this talk, Dr Robert Willner denies the connection between HIV and AIDS, and to prove it he injects himself with HIV. A bit gimmicky, but he does raise the issues. He speaks of AIDS as having 4 causes:-
I first came across people questioning the HIV description of the development of AIDS when I heard about Thabo Mbeki. I am not sure what he actually said, but I picked up that they were saying that AIDS was related to the general health of the victim, and that the problem was caused by hunger and therefore malnutrition. I believed there was a connection, but I also believed that as a politician he was avoiding the criticisms of his people that they were promiscuous – the same peoples as the Tswana of Botswana who were promiscuous by experience and observation. In this 2007 Guardian article his biographer, “Mr Gevisser recounts how Mr Mbeki phoned him late on a Saturday evening in June to discuss Aids. The president asked the respected Johannesburg author whether he had seen a 100-page paper secretly authored by Mr Mbeki and distributed anonymously among the ANC leadership six years ago. It compared Aids scientists to latter-day Nazi concentration camp doctors and portrayed black people who accepted orthodox Aids science as “self-repressed” victims of a slave mentality. It describes the “HIV/Aids thesis” as entrenched in “centuries-old white racist beliefs and concepts about Africans”.”
I’ve now realised this topic is too big for me. Willner talks about the dangers of the drug AZT, that like all chemotherapy it is more toxic than what it cures. I certainly believe that chemotherapy does more harm than good, as a layperson I would not take chemo if I was diagnosed with cancer – I would head for the nearest Gerson clinic. I don’t know about AZT, here is a page of discussion papers on AZT, and some discussion here.
Thabo Mbeki, as described in the same 2007 Guardian article, was warned off politically from pursuing his view of AIDS although he still appears to believe it. Here is a speech given by Thabo Mbeki to the 13th AIDS conference in Durban, and here is a paper given by a presidential panel on AIDS.
Elsewhere, apparently there is an increasing group of people called AIDS denialists (or go to wiki and enter AIDS denialism). This group of people have been given a voice through the movie “The Other Side of AIDS“:-
I am not happy about promoting something I am unsure of, in truth I am not sure about what Robert Willner has to say. This could be another conspiracy theory, but what makes me convinced that there is some substance is my recent studies of BigPharma. Based on those studies I have no doubts that BigPharma could promote the genesis of Aids by HIV in order to sell chemicals such as AZT. Yet to be fair I am not completely happy that it explains the deaths of friends and colleagues in Botswana.