HIV & TB Response

Debunking AIDS Denialism


What is AIDS denialism?

It is the promotion of one or more of the following pseudo-scientific views: (1) HIV does not cause AIDS, (2) the risks of antiretovirals outweigh their benefits and (3) there is not a large AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Here we present links to documents debunking these myths. We also present links to documents showing the dire consequences of AIDS denialism.

Key documents explaining the science of HIV/AIDS

The Evidence that HIV Causes AIDS

This is a definitive article by the National Institutes of Health describing the evidence that HIV causes AIDS and that antiretrovirals are effective. Easy to read and comprehensive. It also debunks the common denialist myths.

The Relationship Between the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Another excellent article by the National Institutes of Health. Debunks many myths. It is much older than the article above but still relevant. It clearly explains how we know that HIV causes AIDS. It also explains how recreational drug use, AZT and Factor VIII in hemophiliacs cannot be the cause of AIDS.

Equal Treatment Issue 19: Science of HIV

TAC magazine issue with a focus on explaining how we know that HIV causes AIDS, antiretrovirals are effective, condoms work, that there’s a large epidemic in South Africa and much more. Written so that it is easy to understand rather than comprehensive. Aimed at people with limited science education.

NIAID Resources on HIV-AIDS Connection

Excellent list of resources on science of HIV.

This is an excellent website with links to numerous documents debunking AIDS denialism.

Rebuttals of AIDS Denialist myths

Rebuttal of Celia Farber article in March 2006 issue of Harper’s Magazine

This is a rebuttal of the numerous errors in AIDS denialist Celia Farber’s article in the March 2006 issue of Harper’s Magazine. It deals with many of the commonly used AIDS denialist arguments.

Webpage from dedicated to debunking specific AIDS denialist myths

The Price of Politically Supported AIDS Denialism in South Africa

Price of Denial by Mark Heywood

Describes the history of AIDS denialism in South Africa and its effects on the struggle for access to HIV treatments.
Citation: Heywood, M., 2004 Price of Denial. Development Update 5(3). Interfund.

Echos of Lysenko: State-Sponsored Pseudo-Science in South Africa by Nathan Geffen

Describes state-support of pseudo-science, with emaphasis on Matthias Rath affair. Compares and contrasts with Lysenko affair in the Soviet Union.

AIDS, Science and Governance: The battle Over Antiretroviral Therapy in Post-Apartheid South Africa by Nicoli Nattrass

Examines politically supported AIDS denialism in South Africa.

Additional Resources

Statements by President Mbeki

The statements collected in this document provide a historical record demonstrating that President Mbeki is an AIDS denialist.

Transcript of Debate between Nathan Geffen and Anthony Brink

Nathan Geffen of the Treatment Action Campaign debated AIDS denialist Anthony Brink on the Tim Modise show. This debate demonstrates just how weak the AIDS denialist arguments are.