Crowe responds to the Perth Group's reply to Fabio Franchi

1 March 2010

Dear Val;

I am responding to your recent article in the hopes that this will initiate a discussion but, in the absence of that, to correct the record to Fabio Franchi and the many other recipients of this email, and to raise some questions about your paper and your theories. I sincerely would like answers.

I should point out that I have for more than a decade been persuaded by the Perth Group's non-existence of HIV arguments. Your Oxidative stress arguments are persuasive, although there are some problems in the context of HIV which I'll describe below. But I'm not at all persuaded by your arguments about semen.

First the outright errors of fact:

Regarding the three theories of AIDS:

But, what is AIDS? I am certainly glad that this time you have attempted to define the term but I have some questions:

I agree that a large population of HIV+ people will probably have more disease than HIV- but this does not mean that the HIV+ test has useful prognostic value for an individual. You seem to be ignoring the many healthy, HIV+ people with no indications of disease. What is your message to them? Should they be concerned? Have you considered the psychological impact of saying that, "there is no denying that a positive antibody test, at least in the AIDS risk groups, increases the probability of the presence or the development of AIDS". Many people will take this as applying to an individual (them). Is your statement intended for individuals or just for groups?

What are "AIDS risk groups"? Do you define them the same way as the mainstream? If not, could you please define what they are. For example:

It is extraordinarily important for you to define this term because, in the absence of clarification, your user of the term "AIDS risk group" will have to be taken to mean what the CDC and WHO think it means.

When you say that "All 'HIV' experts accept that 'HIV' positive individuals and those at risk have auto-antibodies." do you mean all HIV+ people have auto-antibodies and all those "at risk"? Or just some? Do you mean that the presence of auto-antibodies is a better risk indicator than a positive HIV test? Are there standardized tests for this, and do you encourage people to take them?

You state that, "The epidemiological evidence of the last 25 years shows that an "HIV positive" test can be sexually acquired but cannot be sexually transmitted. This single fact proves that whatever the test may signify it cannot be infection with a sexually transmitted agent." but:

 You remind us that, "Last year, when [the] UN declared the end of heterosexual AIDS [a bit of an exaggeration as they excluded Africa], Michael Ellner was worried that sooner or later there will be a backlash against the gay community. If [t]his occurs then, according to our theory, it will have no scientific basis."

No, your theory blames anal sex, by itself, with no co-factors such as drug use, for AIDS. If that theory was to be widely accepted there could be an enormous backlash against gay men as their sexuality would be seen as the basis for a worldwide epidemic that killed millions. For you to promote this theory so heavily with such limited evidence is very dangerous.

I don't wish to defend the passenger virus theory but Duesberg very clearly stated that HIV-antibodies were related to the dose of, for example, Factor VIII. He explained this by hypothesizing that, in a large population, the more exposures, the greater the risk of an HIV infection. Therefore your hypothesis that dose of drugs or dose of blood products would distinguish the oxidative stress-causes HIV-seropositivity theory from the passenger-virus-associated-with-risky-activity theory is not true.

The study that convinced me that the passenger virus theory was not true was the Bruneau study of IVDUs published in 1997. This showed that clean needle exchanges increased the rate of HIV seropositivity. This was a good way to separate out the passenger virus from the drug.  This showed two things against the passenger virus theory:

Yours sincerely,

    David Crowe