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Durban Declaration Rebuttal

A rebuttal to the "Durban Declaration" published in Nature on July 6 2000.

Compiled by Robert Johnston1, Matthew Irwin2 and David Crowe3

1: Co-founder of HEAL Toronto, 2: Co-founder of HEAL Washington DC, 3: President of the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society.

Appendix A: HIV Fails Koch's Postulates

David Rasnick has specialized in protease inhibitor research for over twenty years, and was past president of the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of AIDS. He responded to statements posted by the NIH that HIV fulfilled Koch's postulates (NIAID/NIH, 1995) with the following comments:

Dr. Rasnick:

The PCR test cannot be used to confirm the presence of HIV because it has not been demonstrated that it can do the job. PCR does not detect viable, infectious HIV, the only virus that would matter. It is widely known that 99.9% of the proviral DNA of HIV present in cells is defective and cannot lead to infectious, viable virus (Piatak, M., et al., Science 259: 1749-1754, 1993; Sheppard, H. W., et al., Nature 364: 291-292, 1993). However, the PCR test cannot distinguish between the trace amount of non-infectious viral debris that overwhelms the even smaller level of proviral DNA that could lead to the production of viral particles under the special laboratory conditions of coculture. Even coculturing techniques failed to find infectious HIV in 53% of samples that have PCR viral load numbers in the hundreds of thousands (Piatak, M., et al., Science 259: 1749-1754, 1993). The PCR viral load test is equivalent to counting bumpers in a junk yard.

The problem with the PCR test is that it looks for traces of 3% of the genome of HIV, then makes millions to trillions of "photocopies" of what is found so that it can then be detected by other sensitive methods. PCR is the world's most powerful microscope. If you have to use PCR to find something, that automatically means that what you find has no pathological relevance. If there were lethal substances that could only be detected by PCR, then life on earth would be impossible. It's not a single molecule of cyanide that is toxic, but a lethal does that kills. As Paracelsus said in 1567, it's the dose that makes the poison.

References to unreliability of the PCR viral load test

1. From the Viral Load instructions for Roche's Amplicor HIV-PCR test, #US:83088-- "The AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR test is not intended to be used as a screening test for HIV or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV infection."

2. Defer, C., et al. Multicenter quality control of polymerase chain reaction for detection of HIV DNA, AIDS. 6: 659-663, 1992.

3. de Mendoza, C., Holquin, A., and Soriano, V. False positives for HIV using commercial viral load quantification assays, AIDS. 12: 2076-2077, 1998.

4. Rich, J. D., et al. Misdiagnosis of HIV infection by HIV-1 plasma viral load testing: a case study, Annals of Internal Medicine. 130: 37-39, 1999.

5. Schwartz, D. H. and et al. Extensive evaluation of seronegative participant in an HIV-1 vaccine trial as a result of false-positive PCR, The Lancet. 350: 256-259, 1997.

6. Sheppard, H. W., Ascher, M. S., and Krowka, J. F. Viral burden and HIV disease, Nature. 364: 291-292, 1993.

7. Kleinman, S., Busch, M. P., Hall, L., Thomson, R., Glynn, S., Gallahan, D., Ownby, H. E., and Williams, A. E. False-positive HIV-1 test results in a low-risk screening setting of voluntary blood donation, Journal of the American Medical Association. 280: 1080-1085, 1998.


2) Improvements in co-culture techniques have allowed the isolation of HIV in virtually all AIDS patients, as well as in almost all seropositive individuals with both early- and late-stage disease (Coombs et al., 1989; Schnittman et al., 1989; Ho et al., 1989; Jackson et al., 1990).

Dr. Rasnick:

Co-culture techniques are required to generate HIV since there is no free, infectious HIV to be found in people. See Duesberg's numerous publications for details. The co-culture required fresh T cells from a healthy donor because researchers cannot propogate HIV in the T cells from HIV positive individuals because they are immune to HIV. That also means that HIV cannot propogate itself in the same HIV positive people. Hence, HIV cannot harm HIV positive people because they are vaccinated against HIV.

The only way to get HIV is to co-culture it since no one has every obtained it directly from humans or even animals. The presence of HIV in culture is purely a laboratory artifact, which has no clinical significance.


1-4) All four postulates have been fulfilled in three laboratory workers with no other risk factors who have developed AIDS or severe immunosuppression after accidental exposure to concentrated HIVIIIB in the laboratory (Blattner et al., 1993; Reitz et al., 1994; Cohen, 1994c). Two patients were infected in 1985 and one in 1991. All three have shown marked CD4+ T cell depletion, and two have CD4+ T cell counts that have dropped below 200/mm3 of blood. One of these latter individuals developed PCP, an AIDS indicator disease, 68 months after showing evidence of infection and did not receive antiretroviral drugs until 83 months after the infection. In all three cases, HIVIIIB was isolated from the infected individual, sequenced, and shown to be the original infecting strain of virus.

In addition, as of Dec. 31, 1994, CDC had received reports of 42 health care workers in the United States with documented, occupationally acquired HIV infection, of whom 17 have developed AIDS in the absence of other risk factors (CDC, 1995a). These individuals all had evidence of HIV seroconversion following a discrete percutaneous or mucocutaneous exposure to blood, body fluids or other clinical laboratory specimens containing HIV.

The development of AIDS following known HIV seroconversion also has been repeatedly observed in pediatric and adult blood transfusion cases (Ward et al., 1989; Ashton et al., 1994), in mother-to-child transmission (European Collaborative Study, 1991, 1992; Turner et al., 1993; Blanche et al., 1994), and in studies of hemophilia, injection drug use, and sexual transmission in which the time of seroconversion can be documented using serial blood samples (Goedert et al., 1989; Rezza et al., 1989; Biggar, 1990; Alcabes et al., 1993a,b; Giesecke et al., 1990; Buchbinder et al., 1994; Sabin et al., 1993).

In many such cases, infection is followed by an acute retroviral syndrome, which further strengthens the chronological association between HIV and AIDS (Pedersen et al., 1989, 1993; Schechter et al., 1990; Tindall and Cooper, 1991; Keet et al., 1993; Sinicco et al., 1993; Bachmeyer et al., 1993; Lindback et al., 1994).

Dr. Rasnick:

AIDS is not contagious. For example, not even one healthcare worker has been documented in the scientific literature to have contracted AIDS from over 800,000 AIDS patients in the USA and Europe. The CDC reports in a footnote in the latest HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report year end edition (1998) that there has been a total of 25 healthcare workers in the USA who have contracted AIDS on the job over the 18 years of AIDS. However, this claim is not referenced as to where the CDC got this information or what other risk factors those 25 individuals may have had.

Even if the CDC's 25 occupationally acquired AIDS cases over the past 18 years is true, how does that constitute a raging health hazard to healthcare workers? The 1 million needle-stick injuries among healthcare workers in the USA each year results in about 1000 cases of hepatitis among healthcare workers annually (Holding, R. and Carlsen, W. Epidemic ravages caregivers. San Francisco Chronicle, pp. 1,A6-A8. San Francisco, 1998). That means that in the 18 years of AIDS, healthcare workers contracted 18,000 cases of hepatitis and 25 cases of AIDS.

Of the approximately 5000 married, HIV positive hemophiliacs, not one of their spouses has been documented to have contracted AIDS sexually (Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus, 1996).

Where is the raging epidemic of AIDS among female prostitutes? Do you recall articles in the New York Times or reports on CNN of the AIDS epidemic among female prostitutes? There are also no reports in the scientific literature of an AIDS epidemic among female prostitutes.

In fact, 18 years into AIDS, nearly 9 out of 10 AIDS cases are men, 60% of whom are gay, yet the Army and the Jobs Corps for over 10 years have repeatedly shown that antibodies to HIV are equally distributed between the sexes (Burke, D. S., et al., J. Am. Med. Assoc. 263 (1990): 2074-2077; St. Louis, M. E., et al., J. Am. Med. Assoc. 266 (1991): 2387-2391).

Three studies, the most recent in 1997 (Padian, N. S., et al., Am. J. Epidemiol. 146 (1997): 350-357), consistently report that it takes thousands of sexual contacts for heterosexuals to develop antibodies to HIV. Specifically, on average, a woman must have 1000 unprotected sexual contacts with an HIV positive man to develop antibodies to HIV. For a man, the number is 8000-9000 sexual contacts with an HIV positive woman to develop antibodies to HIV. By comparison, to contract gonorrhea or syphilis requires 2-3 sexual contacts.

The CDC has estimated that from 1985-1995 a constant 1 million Americans were HIV positive. In 1996 the CDC lowered that estimate retrospectively back to 1992. The current estimate that has now been constant since 1992 is that between 650,000-900,000 Americans are HIV-positive. In other words, during a period when AIDS cases increased, reached a peak in 1992-93, and have since declined steadily, the number of Americans estimated to be HIV positive has never gone up; in fact the number has stayed flat, or gone down and stayed flat at a new level. That is very bizarre for a supposedly contagious disease that is raging out of control, while the supposed infectious agent has never spread through the population, not even among the purported risk groups.

Using the CDC's estimate of 1 million HIV positive Americans in a population of 270 million and the 1000 sexual contacts needed to become antibody positive to HIV means that a woman would have to have 270,000 random sexual contacts to become antibody positive to HIV. A man would need 8 to 9 times that many.

Dr. David Rasnick, 1999.

NIAID/NIH (1995). The Relationship Between the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: Koch's Postulates Fulfilled. [recently revised]



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