I have read your work with great interest. Among other things, I appreciate the FAQ section of your web site and your openness to critics' questions. Recently, a sceptic friend of mine sent me the following link, leading to a text extremely critical of your theories. Perhaps you might include this or some of it in your web site with your answers to the critics?
I look forward to your reply.
[...] "Perhaps Professor Duesberg's theory's most obvious shortcoming is that its narrowly defined risk groups do not account for everyone who develops AIDS. For instance, the theories do not explain the reported 38% of AIDS cases among women in the United Stateswho have no other risk factors than heterosexual contact. Moreover, the theories also do not account for HIV-positive children, born to a mother with HIV,who develop AIDS even as their HIV-negative siblings remain healthy. "The only factor common to AIDS... in young adults in Africa, teenage girls in in the sex bars of Southeast Asia, homosexual men in North America, hemophiliacs in Europe or Japan and injection drug users in South America is HIV (9) Contrary to Professor Duesberg'sarguments, there is a great deal of evidence that HIV causes AIDS. [...]
Kind regards, Jon. K., Sweden
Dear Jon K.
Thank you for your sincere concerns about Aaron Plant's piece on the UCSF website advertising what the "mainstream believes", and that "as scientists learn more about HIV, however, more of Professor Duesberg's theories fall apart."So, you want to know what my answers are to Plant/UCSF's propaganda piece are.
I call this propaganda because it is supported by dozens of drug companies listed on this site and dozens of NIH grants on HIV-AIDS, not peer-reviewed and not open for debate. I also call this propaganda, because not one of Plant's "beliefs" or claims, as for example that 38% of US women with AIDS, have AIDS (what ever that is; Kaposi??) from sex, is documented by scientific evidence Why does such a well-supported researcher like Plant not publish his mainstream" objections against "D's theories" in a scientific journal, which would be open to a scientific debate? Do you think there is even one medical or AIDS journal in the US ,"the freest of all countries" according to our president Bush, which would reject Plant's "mainstream" arguments?
I have recently addressed, once more, the question whether "as scientists learn more, more of D's theories fall apart" in an article published in J. Biosci., June 2003, "The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics ..." (attached). But, I find it useless to argue with a company- and interest group-controlled website, that is not refereed and does not publish an unfavorable response.
In view of this, I challenge you to ask Aaron Plant to publish and document his points, like the 38% women with AIDS from sex, in a scientific journal, giving the evidence for his points, like that these women had no other risk factors besides sex, which they share with 125 million US women who do not have AIDS, and to point out exactly what AIDS-defining diseases they have. Is it Kaposi sarcoma, dementia, or diarrhea? Are they treated with DNA chain-terminators like AZT. Or are they just "All-American-girls" who had sex with an HIV-antibody positive date?
Please read "The chemical bases..." and then ask Plant where he will publish his "mainstream" theory and make sure that the journal he chooses gives equal rights to alternative views. In the meantime, I am looking forward to your reply.
With kind regards, Peter Duesberg
Thank you for your kind, thorough and - indeed - very swift reply. I was most edified by the simplicity and curteousy with which you obviously answer people of no importance whom you do not even know. Edified and impressed. Even more so considering that you seem to have interpreted my questions as coming from a critic of your opinions in the AIDS controversy. This misunderstanding - I fear - is wholly my fault, my English being far from perfect. I apologise. In fact, since you had already convinced me, I was rather hoping for an answer of the kind I have now been honored with. Hence, the main reason for my writing to you was one of intellectual curiosity : not one of scepticism. I am simply too much of a novice in these matters to answer my friend the sceptic already mentioned. I had, however, very little doubt there existed a good refutation. I now possess it. Alas, it would appear that rather few are capable of facing the unpleasantness of reality, at times - for instance, the fact of so many scientists and experts being wrong or simply dishonest. I hope your research will continue.
With my very best wishes, Jon K., graduate student at the University of Lund
Peter Duesberg is a professor in the department of molecular and cell biology at the University of California (Berkeley), and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Duesberg sometimes forwards us letters he receives at his website along with his replies, and sometimes we publish them. :) (Hank)