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ScienceBlogs interview with HIV denier-turned-science-advocate John Strangis

Tara C. Smith of ScienceBlogs has posted an interview with former Rethinker John Strangis.

A few points need to be made:

  • Strangis believed that HIV/AIDS was a concocted conspiracy rather than a product of compassionate incompetence, which largely is at odds with mainstream Rethinking.
  • He sees validity in Myles Power’s “debunking videos”, which have been rebuffed here.
  • Strangis was fortunate to have a child born HIV-negative which he credits to ARV treatment, but there’s many many cases of HIV-negative children being born to HIV-positive mothers without treatment. The genuine doubt response of a new father would explain wanting to believe in the mainstream.
  • 4 months after the birth of his son, his partner fell sick – so would it not be possible to entertain ARVs as being responsible? Pregnancy itself is quite a challenge to a woman’s body, so toxic medications on top of that are bound to invite sickness. But as a partner it would be comforting to now think you can really trust the mother of your children to the mainstream theory.
  • Strangis complains about being criticised by Rethinkers, but when he was a Rethinker he was criticised by the mainstream. He calls Rethinking a cult, but used to believe the mainstream view was conspiratorial. Those are both wrong.
  • Strangis seems to think that falling ill as a HIV-positive Rethinker is not possible. But the diseases termed AIDS are not disputed, only their causes. This being the case it is hard to find answers for all those who are HIV-positive and genuinely sick or are at real risk of being so. In some cases a short spell of ARVs may be advised, but their atomic bomb mechanism does not prove they fight HIV. Certainly, no one should take ARVs indefinitely.
  • He supports a law against “disseminating incorrect medical information”, which is another way of saying alternative viewpoints need to be censored; they must automatically be deemed incorrect.

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