Obscure mixture of consorting theories versus proven facts

HIV in times of the Internet: Science has ignored too long as the thought of the AIDS skeptics spread online

About 40 million people worldwide are now infected with the HI virus, the human immunodeficiency virus, tendency to rise as rising. About 25 million infected are, the UN-AIDS coordination program, already died at the HIV-proceeded immunogous AIDS. Nevertheless, another, new virus spreads for several years, especially via the Internet. License plate of the infection liable by the pathogen is a certain immunite – namely the facts against. If you are infected with the virus, you succumb to the existence either from AIDS overhead or only the connection of HIV and AIDS.

In a publication in the specialist magazine PLOS Medicine, the Public Library of Science, two US epidemiologists now go to the question of which methods and procedures the AIDS skeptics carry their views under Volk. The discussion obviously has a lot of similarity with the "Intelligent Design" (cf. Evolution Theory Contra Schopfungsmythos): In the sense of a "freedom of opinions" is required to also discuss theories deviating from the "mainstream".

Like a specialist discussion among scientists, in the case of lay people, it has an effect: it is unsettled – and envisions in the background that the detection of AIDS as a result of HIV infection has been made, that here is not two equal theories with each other arguing, but an obscure mixture of conspiracy theories with proven facts.

Do not ignore the ignorant

Obviously, however, this has kept science for too long to counteract the so-called AIDS critics accordingly. In your article in Plos Medicine, the two scientists demand exactly this – and provide an exemplary representation of anti-AIDS movement, their motives and methods.

They essentially make three skeptic groups. Group Number 1 is about the 1992 with HIV diagnosed Christine Maggiore and her "Alive and Well" movement. Maggiore, supposedly symptom-free, reached mainly after the birth of her two daughter, which she never tested for HIV, a certain prominence. That their younger daughter died in 2005 at an HIV-related pneumonia, Maggiore does not stop to play their role.

The second prominent representative of the Anti-AIDS coalition is Peter Duesberg, who also introduced the connection between AIDS and HI virus in 1987 in an article. As celebrity number 3, the US researchers make a journalist – Celia Farber, which spreads in articles (quite in mainstream magazines) and a book Duesberg’s theses. Interestingly, the views of the AIDS skeptics are quite incompatible with each other – the spectrum ranges from the dispute of the existence of the HI virus to skepticism, whether AIDS and HIV have something to do with each other. However, these differences are referred to in the sense of a unitary front against the established research rather under the table.

How do the AIDS critics?

If the general consensus of the scientific community is that the HI virus is causing AIDS, then one can reject it in two ways: either by creating the skepticism from authorities generally – or by aming the authority intellectual correlation. For example, that the Matthias Rath in Germany refused an interview with Nature Medicine, he claimed, for example, with the indication that this magazine was paid by the medicine industry.

Because scientists through their work of research funds and prestige imports, they could no longer protrude alternative theses neutral, so the argument. This is quite practical because it allows the AIDS skeptics to choose herself, which authoritates they still trust.

Another strategy of the skeptics is to reduce the scientific work from the level of facts to those of a quasi-religious faith and to represent scientific consensus as a scientific dogma – a dogma that you just have to suspect. The skeptics are pleased to be pursued in this context, which have had a lonely struggle for the truth. ++At the same time, the anti-AIDS movement tries very like a religious revival movement to collect a list of its own scientists, with the promise to their trail that the day is no longer far away, at which the own theories were finally recognized.

Strategy of continuous target shift

The strategy of consecutive target shift has also proved quite effectively. It works like this: just ask more and more evidence than just standing. If the proof will be delivered later, you do not recognize the result – you call only further evidence.

Even in the 80s HIV skeptics claimed that drug treatments against the virus did not convey – and therefore no hi-virus gift. Since new drug cocktails have improved the survival rates of AIDS infected effectively in the 90s, this argument is suddenly not applicable in the skeptic community.

Of course, aid’s "Really" is caused, the origin of the AIDS skeptics depends

The skeptics offer real alternatives? Obviously not, write the US researchers in their PLOS article. Of course, there are "alternative" theories – but these are usually off the prerequisite if only the established opinion is gentle, the correctness of alternatives will automatically prove.

What AIDS is caused "Really", attractively depends on the origin of the AIDS skeptics: In Africa, lack of nutrition and bad hygiene should be guilty, in the rich industrialist drug and drug abuse and promiscutane.

That the sexual stimulation mainly under gay serving amylnitrite ("Poppers") AIDS caused, for example, Duesberg claims. Since also people died of AIDS, which the drug never used never used, should now be cocaine or even antibiotics and steroids. Or even the anti-HIV drugs themselves.

What can science align against such arguments? The PLOS authors demand, above all, to demand the general states of science and scientific methods in the population. So one can also withdraw the basis other pseudo-scientific movements that refuse approximately the theory of evolution.

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