BOOK REVIEW – Although others have previously questioned the validity of the hypothesis that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by a retrovirus called HIV, it took an expert toxicologist and pathologist, Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati Ph.D, to implicate the widespread medical use of corticosteroids and related therapeutic drugs as the major causative agent in the U.S. AIDS epidemic. These powerful drugs are currently widely used to treat a host of various inflammatory diseases.
Rather than beginning his analyses with a preconceived hypothesis, Dr. Al-Bayati used the techniques of differential diagnosis to let the biomedical data, epidemiological profiles, and other relevant information implicate the causative factors. In his rigorous evaluations, infection with the virus called HIV never surfaced as a necessary or even likely causative agent!
The HIV hypothesis, a staunchly defended thesis among its proponents, assumes that AIDS is caused by an infectious retrovirus. Since the AIDS epidemic began among homosexual men, the search for the AIDS virus was centered on this group. The discovery of this virus among these men fit into the virological hypothesis and it demonstrated properties that might be postulated to affect the human immune system. The declaration that the chosen virus was indeed the cause of AIDS was accompanied by the naming of this virus as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Given this name, the HIV hypothesis suddenly became a self-fulfilling proposition and a classical example of the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent.
A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting and briefly working with Peter H. Duesberg, a brilliant virologist and Professor at the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Dr. Duesberg’s extensive credentials include pioneering work with retroviruses. His personal studies of the newly discovered AIDS virus led him to the conclusion that the virus called HIV was really quite harmless. On this basis he postulated a number ofalternative explanations for the various cases of AIDS including the use of recreational drugs by homosexual men and the effect of the highly toxic AZT used to combat the illusive HIV. Duesberg’s carefully reasoned arguments seem to have met with rejection and derision among the proponents of the HIV hypothesis and developers of anti-HIV drugs and treatment modalities. Duesberg’s attempts to obtain funds to do toxicological studies of chemical agents, such as recreational drugs, that might explain the AIDS epidemic,were repeatedly rejected.
A significant fraction of our Nation’s health research funding is earmarked for AIDS research. Remarkably, AIDS research funding exceeds cancer research funding by NIH even though up to 40% of Americans may sometime develop cancer and all the AIDS cases to date represent only a few tenths of one percent of the population. What I believe to be most remarkable about this generous research effort to cure AIDS, however, is that virtually all of this funding is actually only for HIV research. Limited attention, if any, has been given to investigating alternative mechanisms in the pathogenesis of AIDS.
Recently I have tried to discuss alternative mechanisms and causes of AIDS with various medical practitioners whom I know. Remarkably, the suggestion that HIV may not actually be the real cause of AIDS is invariably met with a response akin to anger. Why would a physician be angered by the possibility that the HIV hypothesis is incorrect or threatened by studies of possible alternative causes of AIDS? I am not sure, but as a scientist I must support an open search for the truth using the widest possible avenues of valid scientific investigation. New ideas are important to the progress of science, and sources of funding for research that objectively deals with nonconventional biomedical approaches are essential to the development of a complete understanding of complex issues.
Dr. Al-Bayati’s detailed evaluation of the world-wide AIDS epidemicapproaches the literature head-on and lets the chips fall where they may. Because of his objective use of differential diagnosis and his sensitivity and understanding of both pathological and toxicological factors, he is able to convincingly demonstrate that the convergence of several factors other than HIV represent the true causes of AIDS. This book deserves careful attention, especially from physicians who must decide the course of medical treatment for their various patients.
Professor Emeritus Otto G. Raabe Ph.D.
University of California, Davis
Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, Ph.D. ‘Get All The Facts: HIV does cause AIDS 1999, 183 pages ISBN 0-9673536-0-2.