Talk:AIDS denialism

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 Definition Denial of the mainstream, scientific view of HIV and AIDS. [d] [e]
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Some questions, perhaps already being addressed

There is no question that this exists; I don't know whether this should consider the not-unrelated claim that AIDS exists, but was a deliberately created biological attack.

"Some claim that the major HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa is not as prevalent as many make it out to be."

Did you have specific critics in mind? I'm not disputing, but trying to clarify. Also, there is a valid epidemiological distinction between the seroprevalence of HIV and the clinical syndrome of AIDS, whether or not causality is involvd.

"Others have claimed that the anti-retroviral treatments used in AIDS treatment - AZT specifically - actually cause AIDS rather than prevent it."

I'm a little confused by the emphasis on AZT (assuming you mean zidovudine; some redirects were off) here. Yes, it was the first drug. In general, however, single-drug therapy is ill-advised and can promote resistance; there are some compromises for Third World situations, but as far as I know, the single-drug regimens there use newer agents such as tenofovir (ethical as well as overview) [1], especially as potential pre-exposure prophylaxis. The 2005 CDC recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis do include zidovudine, but never alone. [2]

"AIDS denialism has often been used to promote treatments widely considered to be without evidential backing for AIDS including herbal treatments, vitamin supplements, homeopathy, electrical wands and 'zapping' devices, faith healing and even the myth that AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin."

Some of these are clearly completely useless. Whether some less mainstream treatments may be complementary to the "gold standard" treatments, all multi-drug regimens, is not to be dismissed out of hand. While I don't suggest that nutritional supplementation is likely to be antiretroviral, it may be worth examining in such side issues as AIDS wasting syndrome. I would never substitute spiritual therapies for antiretrovirals, but there is a legitimate field of neuroimmunology, in which mind-body mechanisms can affect immune response. Integrative medicine, using a combination of mainstream and less established methods, are not necessarily denialism.

Howard C. Berkowitz 19:01, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Yep, there's nothing wrong with looking at alternative medicines as part of a complementary approach to AIDS treatment, but the AIDS denialists see it as the only treatment. This page is the sort of thing I was thinking of. By AIDS denailists, I mean the sort of thing discussed on AIDSTruth. As for AZT, it's more specifically referring to the early days of AIDS treatment before the current multi-drug treatment.
I have to say, I have perhaps been less neutral than I could have been, but I consider the AIDS denialists to be responsible for a huge amount of human suffering, misery and death. --Tom Morris 20:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps, then, as part of moving to a more neutral position, there is real value in explaining some of the denialist positions that might be fixed. I have to run in a minute, but, if you look at the World Health Organization reference to "traditional" medicine in the integrative medicine article, sometimes the denial is less really that than rejection of culturally-specific ideas that can be complementary. There has been excellent work in infectious disease tracking, for example, when CDC epidemiologists carefully consulted local healers, who both provided legitimacy to the locals and also had valuable environmental insights. I have some more complex examples, not limited to AIDS, that I can discuss when I'm back later today. Howard C. Berkowitz 20:26, 19 January 2009 (UTC)