The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational
drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition

Peter Duesberg, Claus Koehnlein* and David Rasnick

Donner Laboratory, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

*Internistische Praxis, Koenigsweg 14, 24103 Kiel, Germany

Corresponding author (Fax, 510-643-6455; Email: duesberg@uclink4.berkeley.edu)

In 1981 a new epidemic of about two-dozen heterogeneous diseases began to strike non-randomly growing numbers of male homosexuals and mostly male intravenous drug users in the US and Europe. Assuming immunodeficiency as the common denominator the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) termed the epidemic, AIDS, for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. From 1981–1984 leading researchers including those from the CDC proposed that recreational drug use was the cause of AIDS, because of exact correlations and of drug-specific diseases. However, in 1984 US government researchers proposed that a virus, now termed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is the cause of the non-random epidemics of the US and Europe but also of a new, sexually random epidemic in Africa. The virus-AIDS hypothesis was instantly accepted, but it is burdened with numerous paradoxes, none of which could be resolved by 2003: Why is there no HIV in most AIDS patients, only antibodies against it? Why would HIV take 10 years from infection to AIDS? Why is AIDS not self-limiting via antiviral immunity? Why is there no vaccine against AIDS? Why is AIDS in the US and Europe not random like other viral epidemics? Why did AIDS not rise and then decline exponentially owing to antiviral immunity like all other viral epidemics? Why is AIDS not contagious? Why would only HIV carriers get AIDS who use either recreational or anti-HIV drugs or are subject to malnutrition? Why is the mortality of HIV-antibody-positives treated with anti-HIV drugs 7–9%, but that of all (mostly untreated) HIV-positives globally is only 1.4%? Here we propose that AIDS is a collection of chemical epidemics, caused by recreational drugs, anti-HIV drugs, and malnutrition. According to this hypothesis AIDS is not contagious, not immuno­genic, not treatable by vaccines or antiviral drugs, and HIV is just a passenger virus. The hypothesis explains why AIDS epidemics strike non-randomly if caused by drugs and randomly if caused by malnutrition, why they manifest in drug- and malnutrition-specific diseases, and why they are not self-limiting via anti-viral immunity. The hypothesis predicts AIDS prevention by adequate nutrition and abstaining from drugs, and even cures by treating AIDS diseases with proven medications.

[Duesberg P, Koehnlein C and Rasnick D 2003 The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition; J. Biosci.28 383–412]

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