btw I forgot to link to evidence that Rath was using the NEJM study as support for his vitamin sales campaign in South Africa. Here is an article from the Harvard Crimson that discusses this and how the study's authors have reacted to interpretations of the study similar to those in the article Mitchel linked to.
This kind of thing is not just harmless lefty hand waving, the end result is pernicious.
A Natural Answer to AIDS?
On 1 July 2004, a landmark study by Harvard University
was published in one of the world's leading medical journals,
the New England Journal of Medicine, summed up
the same day by the world's most influential and respected
newspaper, the New York Times: 'The study found that
daily doses of multivitamins slow down the disease and cut
the risk of developing AIDS in half.'
The question is why the people of South Africa have not been told about
this. For actively promoting natural health approaches to AIDS, the
South African government has continually been attacked by
pharmaceutical interest groups and received no support at all from
the medical establishment. The reason for this lack of support is
obvious. Non-patentable natural therapies have very low profit
margins, whereas patented synthetic pharmaceutical AIDS drugs are a
multi-billion dollar business.
It is high time that everyone in South Africa, whether affected by
AIDS or not, knows the facts.
1. The Harvard study, conducted in Tanzania over a period of eight
years, involved more than a thousand HIV-positive pregnant women.
It was a placebo controlled and double blind trial conforming to the
highest standards. The study showed that inexpensive multivitamin
treatment is more effective in staving off disease among HIV-positive
women than any toxic AIDS drug. (NEMJ 2004 Jul 1;351(1):23-32)
2. More than a decade ago, a study co-authored by two-time Nobel
Prize winner Linus Pauling, published in another leading scientific
journal, found that an optimal dose of vitamin C alone can block the
replication of HIV by 99%. (Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America 1990 Sep;87(18):7245-9)
3. Every textbook of biochemistry recognises that vitamins and
other micronutrients are the most decisive factor determining the
optimum function of the immune system.
4. Hundreds of studies have found that AZT is profoundly toxic to
all cells of the human body, and particularly to the blood cells of our
5. Numerous studies have found that children exposed to AZT in the
womb suffer brain damage, neurological disorders, paralysis, spasticity,
mental retardation, epilepsy, other serious diseases and early
6. Incredibly, two weeks after the publication of the Harvard study,
the Medicines Control Council proposed new regulations that will
effectively prevent free access to life-saving vitamin therapy and
information about it, and recommended that HIV-positive women
take AZT during their pregnancies.