Is AIDS a Big Lie?

Dear Christine,

I was diagnosed HIV positive in early 1988, and the doctors put me on AZT. I took it believing what they told me was true, including that I had about two years to live. After four years, I decided to stop all the meds because I started reading up on them and found they are not meant for long term use.

When I was on the meds, I lost muscle mass-you know the look-stick legs, no butt and facial wasting. I had a strong feeling the drugs were a problem but although I was raised to follow my gut feelings, that can sound crazy and careless when it comes to medical issues. I finally quit after deciding I would rather live with what time I had feeling good rather than sick, tired, having rashes and yeast infections and everything else these drugs can cause.

When I stopped, my doctor thought I was crazy. He called you and your book quackery. But every time I had any questions about HIV, he would throw out a bunch of medical words I didn't understand. I even offered to pay him in cash for two hours of his time to address my growing doubts regarding HIV and AIDS. Of course, he never could find the time.

My partner was put on tons of PIs and antivirals, and his health has declined. He too has stopped all HIV meds, but I think it's too late for him.

Christine, I don't mean to sound like a nut job, but why are we being lied to? I know medicine is about big bucks and they make more money from us being sick. I don't know what's going on with AIDS, but I do know I feel better without the meds and my body is back to normal.

Thank you,

Patrick

Dear Patrick,

I'm glad you're feeling better and your body is back to normal. I empathize with your concerns about AIDS information-I know what a weird and sad feeling it is to realize that what we've all been told about HIV and AIDS is highly questionable, at best, and often just down right incorrect.

I can still remember the night (these things always seem to happen when it's dark out) when I realized that if I, a regular person with no particular scientific training, could figure out there was something terribly wrong with the HIV-AIDS paradigm, then the people at the top had to know, too. I mean the people that fudge the numbers so it seems like the problem is always growing, the people who know that the antibody tests are not specific and that scientists have never used actual isolation to affirm their accuracy, the people who obscure the side effects of the drugs, and not necessarily the well-meaning doctors, AIDS activists, volunteers and others who truly care about AIDS but are not given the proper tools in order to apply their concern in meaningful ways.

Do I think that AIDS is all a lie? No, but I think many aspects of how AIDS is portrayed are less than correct, that the science is not well founded and that potential solutions are limited by the influence of drug companies. More than a lie, I think AIDS is a tragic mistake on a very large scale that remains unresolved because of the human tendency to hide mistakes rather than admit them, apologize and make appropriations. The larger the error and the more people involved, the more difficult it becomes to admit mistakes, and in the case of AIDS, fundamental mistakes made at the very beginning that have taken us in an unproductive and even harmful direction.

Questioning AIDS info doesn't make you a "nut job," just a healthy skeptic. I try not to think too much about what's wrong but what I can do to help make things right. I also focus on how thankful I am to have avoided the sort of suffering that many people diagnosed HIV positive have had to endure.

Please, take good care of yourself and don't give up on your partner. Maybe it's not too late for him. I have seen some incredible recoveries. If you like, there is a health-oriented MD in your area I could refer you to for help.

Hang in there,
Christine