Gays around the world have been all atwitter over my reporting on Peter Duesberg’s theory that HIV does not cause AIDS. Duesberg, who is a molecular biologist at UC Berkeley and one of the leading virologists in the world, argues, persuasively in my view, that HIV is a harmless passenger virus. (His credentials are impeccable: he isolated the first cancer gene in 1970, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1986.)
The breakdown in the immune system, which gives AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) its name, is caused, in Duesberg’s scientific opinion, by the cumulative damage done to the human body primarily through the use of alkyl nitrites, or “poppers,” in the homosexual subculture. Inhaling nitrites heightens the sexual experience and makes it possible to engage in multiple sexual episodes in a matter of hours.
But get this. If Duesberg is right, that HIV does not cause AIDS, then I am the best friend the gay community has.
Why? Because if HIV is a harmless passenger virus, there is no reason to lock people up for transmitting it.
(This does not, of course, mean that homosexual behavior itself should be endorsed or sanctioned by society, only that it should be contrary to public policy for other reasons. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control state flatly that men who have sex with men “have AIDS at a rate more than 50 times greater than other groups,” and are at “elevated risk for certain sexually transmitted diseases [STDs], including Hepatits A, Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.”)
According to Wikipedia, 34 states have prosecuted HIV positive individuals for the criminal transmission of HIV to sexual partners, usually through the failure to disclose HIV positive status.
So people are being sent to prison in nearly three dozen states for infecting others with a microbe that can’t hurt them.
Homosexual activists ought to love Duesberg’s theory, and love me for publicizing it.
Shortly after my interview with Dr. Duesberg caused such consternation in the homosexual community, I came across this column by a Mark S. King on a pro-homosexual website.
He complains bitterly about the imprisoning of HIV positive “criminals,” calling it the “defining HIV issue of our time.”
Around the country, and without leadership or guidelines from the Federal government, individual states have taken it upon themselves to draft laws that “protect” people from those of us with HIV. Whether using bio-terrorism statutes or simple “assault with a deadly weapon,” people with HIV who do not disclose their status to their sexual partners are risking arrest and prosecution.
You’re already having a visceral response to this scenario, aren’t you? You may have the vague feeling that anyone who doesn’t disclose their HIV+ status to a partner probably deserves to be punished. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Not only do most people support laws forbidding sex without disclosing an HIV+ status, but even a majority of gay men support such laws, and it is understandable, albeit a misinformed view, as to why…
But the sad fact is, most prosecutions under these laws are not being imposed against those who are deliberately malicious or even criminally negligent. They are being imposed using not science, but the same ignorance, stigma, homophobia and racism that has plagued HIV/AIDS throughout the years. And well intentioned people like you and me are buying into it.
Ah, so “ignorance” is prompting “well intentioned people” to believe something about HIV/AIDS that is not true. Duesberg couldn’t have said it better himself.
King goes on to point to a Texas man who is serving a 20-year stretch for spitting on a cop despite the fact that HIV can’t be transmitted that way. In some cases, people are being prosecuted even though no transmission of HIV has even occurred.
The effect of these laws on public health is sobering. If those who know their status risk prosecution for not disclosing, and those who don’t get tested at all can have sex without legal consequences, how does that draw people into HIV testing? As activist Sean Strub says, “Take the test and risk arrest.”
King confesses two interesting things in the column.
Is your record of disclosing your status perfect? Mine isn’t. I have been a compliant patient for many years and have an undetectable viral load. There has (sic) been instances in which disclosure felt unsafe, or I was in environments such as public sex clubs in which no one is asking or telling.
One, he admits that even though he is HIV positive and believes that transmitting it could lead to what amounts to a death sentence for his sexual partners, he doesn’t always inform them. That seems callous at best, cruelly indifferent at worst.
Secondly, he admits multiple visits to “public sex clubs” in “which no one is asking or telling,” presumably because the sex there is with multiple total strangers, a characteristic of sexual activity in the homosexual community.
In fact, researchers Bell and Weinberg found that 43% of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, and 28% had more than 1,000 partners.
So homosexual behavior ought to be contrary to public policy for a host of reasons, including the obvious severe risks to human health. But HIV transmission is not one of them.
The bottom line is this: if homosexual activists want to decriminalize HIV transmission, Peter Duesberg is the best friend they have in the world.