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While I appreciate a healthy skepticism, I must challenge some of the
arguments Chris Niles makes in his insistence that AIDS is a hoax.  In
particular, I take issue with his conjecture as to what causes AIDS.  Ad-
mittedly, I am not as knowledgeable of the epidemiological research, but
as an AIDS activist, some of what he presents contradicts what I have
learned about the disease.

First, AIDS is not only sexually transmitted.  A significant number of
people living HIV/AIDS were infected through intravenous drug use.
Mothers can pass the virus onto their children via the birth process
or breastfeeding.  Evidence has shown that through sexual relations,
it is easier for a man to give it to a woman than vice versa.  I do not know

what Chris' intention was in focusing on this one mode of transmission, but
I
wanted to convey that HIV is spread in other ways.

Second, Chris, you will have to provide some evidence that in the
late 70's and 80's the gay population was disproportionately
disposed to using immunologically destructive drugs than the
rest of the population. While this may not have been the spirit
behind your statement, it smacks of homophobia.  AIDS may be
biological phenomon, but it has exploded into an epidemic for
social reasons -- e.g. racism, classism, heterosexism, etc.

One cannot attribute the use of AZT and other protease inhibitors to
AIDS deaths for the simple fact that these drug cocktails are a recent
phenomonon.  Hundreds of thousands of people with this virus have
died long before the emergence of these drugs so they can hardly be
the cause of their deaths.  While I'm not closed to the idea that these
drugs may prove to have harmful effects in the future (that's what happens
in medicine -- something treats one thing yet causes another), the
evidence is that these drugs prolong the life of people with HIV. I don't
have numbers on this, but I speculate that (1) the survival rate of people
of color is signifcantly less than whites because and (2) that phenomon is
a function of class. These drugs are incredibly expensive and the pharmaceu-
tical industry has no financial interest in giving them away.  They are not
yet readily
available to everyone who needs them unless one is affluent.

Poverty is the cause for just about evertything!  I'm not being facetious.
I'm just
saying that does not go deep enough.  People who are poor have little
access to health care (especially primary care with its preventive emphasis)
healthy food, adequate housing without health hazards, etc.  That's why they
are at greater risk of *dying* from this virus.  But that doesn't make the
argument
that they are at greater risk of *contracting* it.  Rich people get
HIV/AIDS, too.

I can buy a between HIV/AIDS to crack/cocaine, but I guess not enough to
explain the epidemic proportions of this disease.  Again, I can see how
that explains death... it doesn't sell me on exposure.  And there are no
deaths without exposure.

Again, I'm not knocking the critical approach.  But the skepticism needs
to be balanced. It's neither right to believe everything one hears or
dismiss it.  The first recognized case -- in retrospect-- of AIDS death was
a woman.
Then there was the explosion in the gay community.  And even though
the medical establishment suspected that the disease was sexually
transmitted,
it never investigated the possible incidence among women.  Yet in the
history of
humankind, there has never been a sexually transmitted disease that has
confined
itself to one sex.  And these were the folks who were supposed to know
better.

The bottom line, on what basis do you believe one "suit" over another?
People
have their self-interest in promoting their theories and knocking that of
their
competitors.  For any social problem, you can find evidence to support or
oppose
whatever you'd like, so what's in OUR self-interest?





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