(A) Because most people don't understand what is
(B) Because many who do recognize the unfolding tragedy have been threatened and are afraid to speak out, and,
(C) Because both public health officers and physicians have been effectively blocked from introducing the public health measures needed to stop further spread of this modern-day plague. (12)
(A) Randy Shilts, author of "And The Band Played On" recognized this fact when he wrote:
"The bitter truth was that AIDS did not just happen to
America - It was allowed to happen by an array of
institutions, all of which failed to perform their
appropriate tasks to safeguard the public health ...
There was no excuse, in this country and in this time,
for the spread of a deadly new epidemic." (13)
Why is this happening? Tragically, most Americans do not understand the magnitude of the epidemic because our print and TV media have been selective in reporting matters dealing with the epidemic. I know that from first-hand experience because I and many of my cohorts have been thwarted in our efforts to disseminate the truth about the magnitude of the epidemic. I have recorded that story in my book "AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic", published in 1991 by Covenant House. An interesting study in thought control in America today is to try to acquire my book via regular distribution channels.
In recent years several other books have been published which have, in my opinion, presented misleading information about the epidemic. Tragically, that misinformation has discouraged introduction of the public health measures needed to save human lives. In 1990 Regnery Gateway published Michael Fumento's "The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS". In that book, Fumento assured his readers that there was no possibility of heterosexual spread of AIDS here in the United States. Noting that the epidemic had not exploded within the white, heterosexual community as feared, Fumento crafted a convincing tale belittling those of us who wanted to introduce public health measures to block further spread of the disease. In his book, Fumento accused me of "iceberg-theory terrorism" because during the early stages of the epidemic I expressed fear that HIV disease would spread into the general heterosexual population. (14) As time has gone by I have publicly modified my view, but to the best of my knowledge Michael Fumento has never recanted his message that no public health measures were needed. During the early stages of the epidemic, we were both wrong. I erred on the side of caution; Michael Fumento erred on the side that insists that preventive health measures were not needed to stop the epidemic. The tragedy unfolding in both Asia and Africa today reflects the apathy engendered by the misinformation disseminated during the early 1990s. I sincerely believe that the lives of hundreds of thousands of homosexuals, IV drug users, black heterosexuals and black children could have been saved had public health measures been introduced at that time. Had measures been introduced in Asia and Africa, hundreds of millions of lives could have been saved. That, however, was not to be. (15). In 1994 Inside Story Publications released "Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS" written by Brian Ellison and Dr. Peter Duesberg. Dr. Duesberg insists that there is no AIDS epidemic, and that most of those who are assumed to have died from AIDS have actually succumbed to the complications of drug usage, sexual stimulants, and AZT. (16) An updated version of Dr. Duesberg's book was republished by Regnery Publishing Inc. in 1996 under the title "Inventing the AIDS Virus". Both books contended that:
 "in most individuals suffering from AIDS, no virus particles can be found anywhere in the body" (17)
 "retroviruses do not kill cells" (18)
 There are no scientific studies to document any relationship between HIV infection and immunodeficiency (19)
 Kimberly Bergalis was perfectly healthy before she was given AZT (20)
 HIV-infected hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients do not die from immunodeficiency but rather from their hemophilia and other diseases. (21)
A number of other questionable arguments were presented in a clever and convincing manner in Dr. Duesberg's book, and they swayed many people. After all, why would Dr. Duesberg, a world-famous retrovirologist, make such statements if they weren't true? Let me respond:
 Clinicians presently chart the course of HIV disease by measuring the numbers of viral particles present in peripheral blood.
 Because the HIV retrovirus routinely kills normal T cells in the laboratory, special resistant lines of T cells must be used to culture the retrovirus: This information was confirmed by telephone conversation with Dr. Donald Francis in August 1996, and with the chief of the CDC virology lab in Atlanta, Georgia, in February 1996.
 There have been a number of published studies documenting the relationship between HIV infection and terminal-stage immuno- suppression: (22,23)
 Kimberly Bergalis was severely immuno- compromised, contracted pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and had a CD4 count as low as 41 before she was started on AZT. This information was obtained from Kimberly's college medical records which were graciously provided to me by her father, George.
 Both Ellison and Dr. Duesberg ignore the fact that hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients who have died have virtually all manifested the classic, clinical picture of terminal- stage immunodeficiency. (24)
A detailed analysis of Dr.Duesberg's arguments and his agenda is beyond the scope of this article. That subject
is covered in my HIV-Watch newsletter, and in my monograph, "The Population Control Agenda". Unfortunately,
Dr. Duesberg's books have convinced many otherwise sincere people that there is no reason to institute standard
public health measures to control further spread of the epidemic. (25)
(B) Why have people been afraid to speak out? I personally know of physicians, medical personnel and politicians who have had their professions ruined simply because they dared to comment publicly on the mishandling of the epidemic. On one occasion two public health officers approached me stating: "We want you to know that we support you and what you're doing, but we can't come out publicly because we've been threatened." That pattern of intimidation has been commonplace since the inception of the epidemic. The story of the threats and intimidation utilized to silence concerned professionals is also covered in "AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic". (26)
(C) For centuries epidemics have been stopped by identifying the infected, and preventing them from transmitting their illness to others. In the case of HIV disease it would have been relatively simple to have blocked further spread of the epidemic in the mid-1980s when the HIV blood test became available. That, however, was not to be. Even before the blood test was released in May of 1985 there were forces organizing to block the introduction of standard public health measures to control further spread of the epidemic. Virtually all necessary public health measures have been precluded because of those efforts. (27,28)
The precedent for public health management of a sexually transmitted disease epidemic was established by Surgeon General Thomas Parren during the syphylis epidemic of the 1930s. Had physicians been allowed to introduce the public health measures needed in the mid-1980s we could have stopped further spread of the plague. What should have been done?
 Physicians should have been instructed to carry out routine, non-mandatory, confidential HIV testing on all office and hospital patients.
 Mandatory reportability of the names of the infected to public health officials should have been instituted to facilitate contact tracing, compilation of accurate statistics, and identification of those who were intentionally spreading their illness.
 Mandatory premarital, prenatal, and neonatal HIV testing should have been introduced to save the lives of sexual partners, unborn and newborn children.
 Infected prostitutes should have been identified and removed from our streets.
 Houses of prostitution, gay sex clubs and bathhouses should have been closed.
 Nationwide treatment programs for drug addicts should have been introduced.
 Education should have stressed chastity and morality rather than instructing our youth how to put on condoms and lecturing them on aberrant sexual activity.
Tragically, almost all efforts by concerned public health officers and physicians to address the HIV epidemic have
been thwarted. I know from personal experience because for over a decade I led the battle within the House of
Delegates of the California Medical Association to introduce the public health measures needed to stop the
epidemic. Year after year the physicians voted to introduce effective public health measures, and year after year
those within the hierarchy and the bureaucracy of organized medicine worked to block implementation of those
policies. That tragic story is also chronicled in my book "AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic".
Men and women of conscience are not relieved of their moral responsibility to speak out concerning the manner in which this epidemic has been handled simply because it has failed to involve the white heterosexual population of America. In my opinion, almost everyone who acquires this disease today does so because of our nation's failure to implement the public health measures necessary to block further spread of the illness. I sincerely believe that men do become accomplices to those tragedies which they fail to oppose. Failure to speak out in times of moral crises makes cowards of men, and these days we live in are surely times of great moral crisis.
(1) Radio Interview. John Harris. 9/13/95. Radio Liberty,
P.O. Box 13, Santa Cruz, CA 95063. Copies available.
(2) Radio Interview. Peter Hammond of Front Lines Ministry: 9/20/96. Radio Liberty. Copies available.
(3) Sullivan Brian R. Special Operations and LIC in the 21st Century: The Joint Strategic Perspective: Special Warfare. The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School May 1996; 9(2):4. Contact Superintendent of Documents, US Publishing Office, Washington D.C. 20402
(4) Life Expectancy Shortened in Uganda. Xinhua News Agency 8/18/96. (See also CDC AIDS Daily Summary 8/19/96).
(5) Burns JF. Denial and Taboo Blind India to the Horror of the AIDS Scourge. New York Times 9/22/96: 1. (See also CDC Daily Summary 9/23/96: 2.)
(6) Blattner W. More than 100 Million Worldwide Predicted to be HIV-Positive by Year 2000. Reuters News Service 6/17/96. (See also CDC AIDS Daily Summary 6/19/96: 2.)
(7) Soto KE et al. HIV-1 Langerhans' Cell Tropism Associated with Heterosexual Transmission of HIV. Science 3/1/96; 271: 1291
(8) Kolata Gina. New AIDS Study Reveals Startling Immunity Data. New York Times 9/27/96: A13:
(9) Dean Michael. Genetic Restrictions of HIV-1 Infection and Progression of AIDS. Science 9/27/96; 273: 1856.
(10) The Changing Face of AIDS. New York Times 11/04/96: A26
(11) Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Health: Division of STD/AIDS Surveillance Quarterly; 4(2,3):1. Available from P.O. Box 2448,Room 112, Richmond, VA 23218
(12) Monteith SK. AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic. Covenant House 1991. (See also HIV-Watch; I-V.) P.O. Box 1835, Soquel, CA 95073.
(13) Shilts Randy. And the Band Played On. St. Martin's Press 1987: xxii.
(14) Fumento Michael. The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. Regnery Gateway 1990: 303.
(15) Ibid: 178-184
(16) Ellison Brian., Duesberg Peter H. Why We Will Never Win the War on AIDS. Inside Story Communications. El Cerrito CA 1994 : v-viii.
(17) Duesberg Peter H. Inventing the AIDS Virus. Regnery Publishing Inc 1996: 175
(18) Ibid: 158
(19) Why We Will Never Win The War On AIDS. op cited: 250
(20) Inventing the AIDS Virus: op cited: 348-252
(21) Ibid: 4, 183-185, 286-288
(22) Asher MS. et al. Does Drug Use Cause AIDS. Nature 3/11/93; 362:103
(23) Schecter Martin T. et al. HIV-1 and the Aetiology of AIDS. Lancet 3/13/93; 341: 658-659
(24) Minimal Data Set for Risk Reduction,National Totals 1/1/93 - 12/31/93. 125 Hemophilia Treatment Centers Reporting to the CDC.
(25) Why We Will Never Win the War On AIDS; op cited: 122
(26) AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic; op cited.
(27) And the Band Played On; op cited: 539-560.
(28) AIDS:The Unnecessary Epidemic: op cited: 136, 161-66, 193, 342-43.