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Disease that never was

AIDS: THE FAILURE OF CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE·Neville Hodgkinson·£17.99· Fourth Estate, London

Published: Saturday 31 July 1999

 The human immuno-deficiency v ever since aids was reported in the early 1980s, different theories developed about its origins. However, the virus theory soon became established as 'the truth' about the cause of aids while all other view points and arguments were sidelined. Backed by various lobbies that had vested interests researchers, politicians, religious leaders, aids patients and pharmaceutical companies the theory was kept alive against scientific reasoning and empirical evidence.

In his book, Neville Hodgkinson presents an incisive analysis of the theory supported by incontrovertible evidence that had largely been ignored by mainstream scientific and medical journals. The book details how the biggest blow to the conventional hiv theory comes in the form of data presented by a group of Australian researchers. The group is led by Dr Eleni Papadupulos-Eleopulos, a biophysicist at the Royal Perth Hospital.

According to her oxidation stress theory, the immune system breaks down due to excessive stimulation by oxidative agents like recreational and medical drugs, semen, impure blood and microbial agents that cause, among others, malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

The team demonstrated that hiv was never unequivocally shown to exist. Instead, researchers had misinterpreted the genetic activity of overstressed immune cells as the presence of a deadly virus. They also showed that antibody proteins (antibodies are proteins produced by immune system cells to combat foreign proteins called antigens) detected by the hiv test are not specific to a particular virus. These can be expressed due to a variety of external challenges to immune system cells such as toxic assaults from medical and recreational drugs, contamination of the bloodstream with other people's blood and semen, chronic exposure to conventional infections such as tb and malaria and use of dirty needles for the intake of drugs.

Hodgkinson describes how the inability to obtain hiv directly from the fresh tissue of a patient has complicated matters and that isolation techniques have been fraught with puzzling factors. He also quoted the researchers who have shown that recipients of hiv negative blood have become hiv positive and develop aids , while the donor stayed healthy. According to them, the gold standard, is to show that the hiv virus is present in people who tested positive and absent in those who tested negative. And this has never been done.

On an official journey of investigation in Africa, Hodgkinson found that the world had been misled by the hype that was surrounding aids in Africa. In Nairobi, in a hospice for abandoned hiv children, most of the children suffering from aids recovered after being fed and treated for infections.

He also narrates the case of a French couple Philippe and Evelyne Krynen, working for a French organisation, who conducted tests in a village and found to their surprise that the number of people testing hiv positive was very low in the population. Earlier, they had reported that almost the entire adult population in the region was going to die of aids.

The book describes the hope held out by proponents of the hiv theory who had tried to offer patients a vaccine or anti-viral drugs. But the drug azt, once hailed as the gold standard of aids treatment, has been proved dangerous. The manufacturers launched the drug, which is supposed to inhibit the growth of the virus by blocking gene synthesis, on the basis of a single, faulty study and aggressive promotion.

His book presents a new challenge in the light of all the information now available to experiment with different ways of looking at the syndrome, and see if there may not be great benefit in adopting a different explanation from the one we have lived with for so many y ears.

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