There's a small but highly vocal group of skeptics who question the standard HIV-causes-AIDS theory. Peter Duesberg and Kary B. Mullis are often cited as prominent members. To see them in action, you may want to visit They claim that either HIV does not exist at all or that it doesn't cause the complex of diseases known as AIDS (often they will reject the term "AIDS" altogether as ill-defined). There are two groups:

If you meet a specimen, it is inadvisable to argue the evidence for the standard theory. They will talk you to death, just like creationists, never accepting defeat(*). Instead, first make sure that they firmly commit to one of the two non-standard theories above. Don't let them wander back and forth. Then comes the attack:
  • To people who believe in behavioral risk factors: "Start an insurance company and offer life and health insurance policies to people who test positive for HIV but do not belong to any risk group. Examples are newborns infected through their mothers, wifes of hemophiliacs, health care workers infected on the job etc."
  • To people who believe in AIDS drugs as cause: "Offer life and health insurance policies to people who test positive for HIV and agree not to take any AIDS medications. Plenty of customers in Africa."
Since the skeptics believe to have a better risk estimate than the rest of the insurance industry, they will become rich and will prove their theory at the same time.
(*) Here are some arguments, but remember I don't recommend using them:
  • Baboons can be infected with HIV-2 in the laboratory and will then invariably develop AIDS-like diseases; the lab baboons not so infected won't develop such diseases.
  • Of two twins, one infected with HIV at birth and the other not, the infected one will develop AIDS, the other won't.
  • In one study of 51 Mexican patients who received HIV-positive blood transfusions, all of them developed AIDS within 48 months. There are similar studies of health care workers infected on the job.
  • HIV infects and kills CD4+ T-helper cells in the test tube. T-helper cells are crucial to the immune system.
  • Characteristic AIDS symptoms such as wasting syndrome, Kaposi's sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma or dementia occur in HIV positive patients that have been treated with AZT, in patients that have been treated with protease inhibitors, and in patients that haven't been treated at all. They occur virtually never together in HIV negative persons.
  • The number of HIV particles in a patient's blood can be measured with PCR. It correlates well with severity of AIDS symptoms.

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