HIV denialism refers to a view that AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is not caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). This belief is contradicted by compelling medical and scientific evidence and consensus, but is a view that is promoted by the denialists.
Claims by the HIV denialists:
- The main claim is that HIV is not sexually transmitted and it does not cause AIDS
- The deaths attributed to AIDS are deaths that are caused by malnutrition, hygiene, recreational drugs, and the antiretroviral drugs used to treat the condition
- The actual existence of HIV has not been proven; or if it exists, then it is a harmless ‘passenger’ virus
- The tests for HIV are unreliable
- HIV does not fulfill Koch’s postulates for a causal relationship between an infective agent and a disease.
- HIV is an invented fiction by the pharmaceutical companies to make more money
The claims are largely based on pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.
The website Aidstruth.org was set up by scientists to debunk the claims made by the HIV deniers.
Relevance to Podiatry:
- All health professionals have a responsibility for promoting a scientific evidence based approach to health and health care.
- This is a public health issue, that all health professionals need to be concerned about and active in addressing. Public education and health promotion campaigns need to be supported.
HIV/AIDS denialism (Wikipedia)
HIV denial (Rational Wiki)
HIV Denial in the Internet Era (PlosOne)
AIDS Denialism vs. Science (Skeptical Inquirer)
HIV/AIDS denial (HAD) (Skeptics Dictionary)
The Cult of HIV Denialism (TheBody)
What’s the harm in HIV/AIDS denial? (WhatTheHarm?)
HIV Denial and “Just Asking Questions” (Science Based Medicine)
Debunking denialist myths (AidsTruth)
13 AIDS Denialists Who Died of AIDS (Back From Nature)
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