I believe that HIV does not cause the 30 or so
diseases in the AIDS category, but when I approach the topic, people
get very angry. Why are people totally willing to believe the current
AIDS beliefs? Why do they believe that AIDS can't and shouldn't
There is a lawyer here in my town that
is representing someone charged with a crime based on their HIV
status. Why doesn't the lawyer want to know that the test
for HIV is not a test that actually finds the virus? He knows that
there is another side to AIDS because offered him your book.
Am I causing more harm than good by passing out your books? Why
won't the big newspapers print articles stating your views? Do the
drug companies that make the AIDS drugs control the media?
I'm sorry you're having a tough time trying to introduce people
to new perspectives on HIV and AIDS. In the many (too many!) years
that I've been working on this issue, I've encountered similar resistance.
I've tried to learn from these experiences and develop new and better
ways to communicate and share ideas. I find that I am much more
able to establish a dialogue now than I was even a year ago, and
that identifying and empathizing with the concerns of others and
speaking calmly and politely to resistance is key.
While this strategy may work better than others, it's not a magic
formula. I've found that some people want to hold on to their beliefs
about AIDS no matter what. As one man recently told me, "I
don't care about the facts, all I know is that my friends died."
For some people, the idea that there may be another side to what
they've been told about AIDS may cause them to wonder about the
veracity of other news. These thoughts can inspire disconcerting
and uncomfortable questions: "If a lot of what I've been told
about AIDS is incorrect, what other important issues may have been
incorrectly reported by the media?" or "If I can't trust
government and medical authorities for correct information, who
can I trust?" The prospect of having to think critically about
other issues can be daunting, and the anger directed at you over
your views about AIDS may actually be the anger caused by a betrayal
I think it's also important to recognize that AIDS rethinking
is not for everyone. Some people feel comfortable sticking with
popular opinion, and the suggestion that popular opinion may be
mistaken-however diplomatically or compassionately worded- is simply
unwelcome. Many people prefer to go with the flow rather than take
a step in a new direction.
People who have lost friends and loved ones to AIDS
can find it especially difficult-even painful-to take another look
at AIDS. Information that brings into question the tests and the
treatments cause many to question if their loved ones might still
be alive if they had known of alternative views and all their options.
Those involved in AIDS charities have invested their emotions in
the HIV paradigm and devoted their careers to popular ideas about
AIDS. While some may be willing to consider new views, I find that
most have little incentive to question their efforts. Doctors may
also be heavily invested in AIDS, both emotionally and financially.
Many work eight-hour plus days and may feel they don't have time
to look into the issues. They also risk discovering that the practices
and treatments they've encouraged may have caused needless suffering
and death. Trying to see the AIDS situation from the viewpoint of
others can help us understand their resistance to new ideas and
may help us identify a common ground that can serve as a basis for
I would advise against using absolute or judgmental
words in describing alternative AIDS information. To give you an
example of what I mean, someone with a great passion for AIDS rethinking
once asked me to accompany her to a group where she had been trying
to share her views without success. She told me that her friends
and colleagues wouldn't listen to her, and
after seeing her in action, I understood why. She presented her
views as "the truth" implying that everyone else was lying,
and called the current AIDS situation "a scam" instead
of using a more compassionate phrase such as "tragic medical
mistake." This experience taught me that how we present information
is as vital as the information itself.
Like you, I have found that lawyers handling well-publicized
AIDS cases aren't usually interested in facts that challenge conventional
wisdom. I'm not sure why.
I appreciate that you are sharing my book-or at
least trying to share it! Hang in there; you're not alone.