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From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: HIV doesn't cause AIDS, drugs do.
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 11:41:06 -0700
Message-ID: <acm1i0$o9l$>

DBrown wrote in message ...

>I don't know where did you get the idea that the "Denialist" say that
>HIV/AIDS is 100% fatal. Its people like Harris and other who say
>HIV/AIDS= Death.

My position on the subject is not in question, since it's laid out in print
in my SKEPTIC essay. There I make clear that untreated HIV infection is not
necessarily a death sentence, as 10 to 15% of people seem to have quite a
bit of natural immunity to the virus, and do not show signs of long term
progression, even after 15 years of infection. Probably the other 85-90%
will die of HIV without drug treatment, however. About what happens WITH
modern drug treatment the jury is out, but many people (not all) people with
HIV on drugs have not only regained their immune systems, but their viral
replication remains down after main years, and their immune reconstitution
looks like it's holding. We have less than 7 years data for protease
inhibitors, though, and even less for the cocktails specifically tailored to
suppress HIV replication (HAART).  The HAART cocktails sometimes cause
immune recovery, and sometimes not.  Apparently much depends on how badly
the immune system was damaged to begin with. Your lymph nodes are like your
liver-- it's not just the cells but their architecture which is important,
and you can apparently lose so much of that, that even a cocktail which
stops further cell destruction doesn't fix things (though it may do some
good). Just as at some point in cirrhosis, your liver will never recover
even if you DO stop drinking), at some point in the damage due to HIV
infection, it doesn't matter very much if you go on HAART and stop further
HIV destruction of lymphocytes. There's no doubt that the best recoveries on
HAART are in people who started with some immune system left.

As for untreated "AIDS," whether its a death sentence or not depends on how
you define it. The natural history of AIDS with relatively high CD4 counts
(200 or so-- characteristic of lab-defined AIDS and also gay men with
initial presenting KS) is unclear. It may be that some of these people (who
still have a lot of cellular immune function) naturally reverse their
disease enough to become the 15% nonprogressor group. However, the average
gay man presenting with classic AIDS and a opportunistic infection *other*
than KS has a CD4 count of around 50, and I know of no spontaneous (non
retroviral drug assisted) recoveries from immune failure of this magnitude.
Here there's not much left to work with. Without drugs, this level of CD4 in
HIV *is* a death sentence, I believe. Callen supporters argued otherwise
with me years ago, but not any more. I'd still be happy to review any
laboratory evidence to show that my belief is wrong on this matter.

>dissident side are saying that may not be the case.

The dissident side can't even make up it's mind if there is such a thing as
HIV.  The "dissident side" could not find it's own rear end with both hands
in a hall of mirrors.

> No one knows exactly what
>causes AIDS or what HIV is, or if it has any role in AIDS or what?

No. You may not, but don't mistake your ignorance for that of the world.
It's smarter than you are.

I welcome email from any being clever enough to fix my address. It's open
book.  A prize to the first spambot that passes my Turing test.

From: "Keith F. Lynch" <>
Subject: Re: HIV doesn't cause AIDS, drugs do.
Date: 30 May 2002 19:38:54 -0400
Message-ID: <ad6d6e$5ve$>

Steve Harris <> wrote:
> My position on the subject is not in question, since it's laid out
> in print in my SKEPTIC essay.  There I make clear that untreated
> HIV infection is not necessarily a death sentence, as 10 to 15% of
> people seem to have quite a bit of natural immunity to the virus,
> and do not show signs of long term progression, even after 15 years
> of infection.

I wonder if it's more.  Someone who is HIV+ but symptomless may be
unaware that he is HIV+, and hence never come to the attention of
any doctor.

If I were HIV+, I would be unaware of it, if not for the fact that I'm
a regular blood donor.  If I had any risk factors for HIV+ I would not
be allowed to even attempt to donate, so I wouldn't be noticed that
way either.

It seems to me that the only way to know the true percentage is to
test people at random.  And not just people who are under medical
treatment for some reason.  As far as I know, no such test of the
general population (as contrasted with, say, military recruits) has
ever been done.
Keith F. Lynch - -
I always welcome replies to my e-mail, postings, and web pages, but
unsolicited bulk e-mail (spam) is not acceptable.  Please do not send me
HTML, "rich text," or attachments, as all such email is discarded unread.

From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: "The phony persuaders"
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 21:41:00 -0600
Message-ID: <adhd1r$pjs$>

John Lauritsen  writes:

>[Note the telling phrase, "viral marketing".  AIDS critics who
>participate in Usenet newsgroups, notably, have
>long suspected industry ties to some of the posters who attack us.
>This article strengthens our suspicions.

Comment: which is not hard to do in one so paranoid. As one of the people
who no doubt Lauritsen thought was some pharmaceutical company plant in the
mid 1990's on, I can only note the irony of all this.

Remember who's complaining here. It's Mr. John "AIDS is not a disease but a
social construct" Lauritsen.  The guy claiming that AIDS was due not to HIV,
but the bad life style. The guy arguing that Kaposi's sarcoma is caused by
nitrates, certainly not anything so mundane as a new virus. The guy urging
people to treat their AIDS by stopping their anti-HIV drugs. The guy who
(unlike me) actually did make money off the AIDS epidemic. "long suspected
industry ties," he says. Presumably he doesn't mean the publishing industry.

So where did that J. Lauritsen go?  Just about the time protease inhibitors
and HAART appeared, he seems to have slunk from the AIDS activist skeptic
scene. Less and less money in writing about that. Problem: the people
refusing anti-HIV drugs were becoming more and more scarce (see "dead").
While at the same time the people on HAART watching their health return were
becoming numerous enough to challenge Lauritsen more and more predictably.

Ah, time to move on to another witch hunt, Rifkin-style. Lauritsen didn't
quit AIDS because his cause was won, because the establishment recognized it
wasn't a real disease, and because "HIV-positive" people everywhere read
Lauritsen, realized they didn't really have any problems not caused by poor
lifestyle, and stopped their drugs. Far from it. Lauritsen fled because he
really had no choice. He had been laughed off the stage.

Where are we all now?  I'm still here, writing where there's no money in
writing. Still with no ties to any AIDS industry, and not on any drug
company's payroll. Still a real doctor, practicing real medicine (not AIDS
medicine). Still the same guy. I'm proud of my writings on this and other
newsgroups in the mid 90's because I was goddamn RIGHT in my views, and the
last seven years of new evidence in the field have done nothing but
strengthen my argument, and my position.

And Lauritsen? He looks worse and worse. He's well on the way to reinventing
himself because he has very little choice. That's the penalty for
journalists who have been fools. For what it's worth, Duesberg and
Root-Bernstein have moved on, too. How could they not?


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: "The phony persuaders"
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 22:52:42 -0600
Message-ID: <adk5kj$dh5$>

"Jeff Hilton" <> wrote in message
>       There's no money to be made by being an HIV dissident so Duesberg, et.
> al. are forced to divide their time.  This doesn't indicate they are wrong.

No money in being an AIDS dissident for *some* people. Duesberg I doubt made
much on it but a few book royalties. I'm sure it ruined his scientific
career, and it probably should have (since he resolutely turned against
scientific thinking itself). As for Lauritsen, he has several AIDS skeptic
books and dozens of AIDS-related articles in the NY Native-- they weren't
paying people in the 1990's to be happy with the establishment's views on
the matter of AIDS (which, alas for them, turned out to be mostly correct).
The biggest establishment fiasco in my opinion was probably its assumption
(on the basis of scant data) of the long-term efficacy of AZT monotherapy.
AZT did not cause AIDS (as the Concorde trial showed), but after about a
year of taking high dose AZT alone, it stopped doing people good and
therefore started doing them (overall) some harm. Eventually that also
became clear with the Concorde trial, but not without a lot of people
pushing limited clinical data farther than it was safe to push it. That's
the closest Lauritsen ever came to being right about anything, and he didn't
come very close. A stopped clock does better on telling time.

My own formally published work on the subject of HIV/AIDS amounts to one
article in SKEPTIC magazine, which I did for free. I turned down a book
offer that resulted. (You will, if may I say so myself, get a more correct
view of AZT in one page of that article than you will in an entire book by

> Most of the posters here do receive some or most of their support from the
> industry of AIDS.  This includes the virologists, healthcare workers,
> physicians, researchers and even the HIV positive.  Many HIV positive people
> have become dependent on the social security checks and industry support
> programs for their entire adult lives.

Ah well. It can even be worse. There are some people out there who were sure
they were going to die and viaticalized their life insurance and had a hell
of a good time on it. *Then* found out with HAART they weren't going to die.
But HAART's expensive and now they're flat broke, or struggling badly. It's
not a pretty picture. Generally all you can say about it is that it
(usually) beats the alternative (pace poor Mr. Scutero). The point is,
however, that if beating AIDS was just a matter of giving up poppers and
eating health food, most people with AIDS would surely do that, even if it
meant having to give up all social support. Do you really imagine most
people take these anti-viral cocktails with all of their side effects, for
financial reasons?  Or any social reasons? I don't think so.

True, not everybody decided to go with HAART. The people who did are, in
general, the people we see. The old time skeptics who refused to take the PI
cocktails aren't with us any more. It's sort of like my favorite story about
dolphins, who were alleged by drowning swimmers to be intelligent, because
the dolphins pushed them toward shore. But suppose dolphins push drowning
people in random directions, including out to sea?  We'd still *hear* a
rather one-sided picture. So it is also with AIDS.  About the only skeptics
left alive are the people like Duesberg and Lauritsen who were never
infected in the first place. Where is little Linsey Nagel, Duesberg's HIV+
poster child?  An ominous silence now from the parents who once raked the
medical profession over the coals about their child's prognosis.  Sorry--
it's not safe to do that, because reality votes. We do not live in the
cartoon world where you only are subject to the law of gravity when you
choose to look down. And it's not my business as a physician to be blowing
sunshine for those people have tolerable options if they'll face reality.

> SBH, it sounds as if you are one of the few posters who truely does not
> earn anything from the AIDS industry.  Your patients are elderly Mormons
> and you see little or no HIV in your practice.  I'd like to know why you
> post so passionately here when your life seems to be so removed from

I'm not sure I know myself, entirely. I have a lot of intellectual effort
invested in it by now, for one thing. The AIDS skeptics haven't just
attacked the HIV industry, you know, but also in the process the entire
medical profession and many of the core ideas of Western Science. I hold
these particularly dear. They are a Candle in the Darkness of a
Demon-haunted World, don't you know. Give all this up and you're back to the
middle ages, and I refuse to go back there. We had the Great Enlightenment,
and I'm sticking to it. Even in Utah. Social constructionists like Lauritsen
infuriate me because they would drag us back to an earlier time when mankind
was stuck in childishness (like those cartoons) and mysticism.  I've sworn
an oath to fight that, for the rest of my life.

If you want a balanced picture of my true activities on the web on behalf of
what I consider scientific rationalism, you can always do a google search.
You'll find that my activities with AIDS are a relatively small part of my
overall set of what you refer to as passions. I've probably written just as
much in the past about scuba diving. Or heart disease or aging. Or any of
dozens of topics in medicine and other branches of science and philosophy.
The AIDS article is only one of four I've done for SKEPTIC on many topics
(none of the rest of them remotely related to AIDS), and another (on the AI
singularity) is due out in a couple of months.  Catch me on sci.physics
where I'm presently in the middle of a discussion of the Fizeau
water-experiment's impact on the theory of special relativity.  If you think
I spend most of the time defending orthodoxy and standard views, you'd be


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: "The phony persuaders"
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 13:49:28 -0600
Message-ID: <adlq6g$n3r$>

"Hayek" <> wrote in message

> She's dead. No, she's alive. She hiv+ and has full blown
> aids. She does not have aids. She's not even
> hiv+...etc..etc...
> The unbearable lightness of hiv-believers, I call that....

My last e-conversation with the Nagels was in about 1994, when Linsey's
mother publicly in a newgroup said that the child had tested HIV-positive
and also HIV-negative. I suggested that she get a viral culture to settle
the matter (this was in the years before it was easy to get a quantitative
viral load). I don't know if this is what they did, but if so, I didn't get
a thank-you note.

No competent doctor in the US today would treat anybody "HIV-positive" who
had no positive viral culture, and a non-detectable viral load. So that
problem is certainly solved. The bad time was in the late 80's and early
90's when viral load wasn't available clinically, and so there was no guide
at all to antiviral treatment. Some people during that time got harmed by
the crude drugs available, and it remains possible that Linsey was one of

As I told her parents at the time, however, if that was the case they'd be
well-advised not to learn the wrong lesson from this. If NASA makes a stupid
mistake and crashes a spaceprobe into Mars, it hardly follows that NASA is
totally incompetent, that all rocket scientists are fools, that Newtonian
mechanics is wrong, and anybody who says otherwise is a tool of a gigantic
conspiracy. That's about where the Nagels were with AIDS, when last we


From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: "The phony persuaders"
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 12:50:26 -0600
Message-ID: <adlmnr$k6m$>

"Dave Brader" <> wrote in message
> Steve, you have mentioned Linsey Nagel a few times in posts that I have
> read.  Are you aware that Steve Nagel posts regularly on Virusmyth, and
> claims that Linsey is alive and well now.  He says she has not been treated
> in any way for HIV disease for years now.  He also claims of course that
> everyone who ever took AZT is dead.  It is apparent from his posts that he
> is totally obsessed with AZT and its early use in the treatment of HIV
> disease.  He is totally irrational and ignores all evidence except that
> which he believes supports his rantings.  He has posted enough information
> about Linsey that I now believe she was misdiagnosed and never was truly HIV
> infected, which of course would explain why she is still alive.

Very interesting. I didn't know that.

> Anyway I guess what I am saying is that if you have some information about
> Linsey that is different from what Steve Nagel claims, such as she is dead
> or something, I would be interested in seeing a source for that.

No, I only assumed it because the Nagels dissapeared from Usenet and
Compuserve, so far as I could tell.  Googling your term (which was new to
me), I see there's a whole, no doubt with their own mailing
lists and discussion groups. I'll have to check it out.


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