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DRUG HOLIDAYS Or Why Even the HIV/AIDS Orthodoxy Isn't All Bad


By Peter Duesberg

25 June 2000

The dilemma for the HIV-AIDS orthodoxy is that they have to chose between two kinds of evils:
(i) the hypothetically fatal HIV, and
(ii) the biochemical inevitability of fatal DNA chain termination by anti-HIV drugs.In the words of Kendall Smith from the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, "Right now, the disease is life-threatening [he did not say HIV], on one hand, and the drugs that we have so far have life-threatening toxicities, on the other hand. It puts us between a rock and a hard place." (Christensen, 2000).

Until recently all those who question the HIV/AIDS hypothesis had every right to blame the proponents of this hypothesis for disregarding the fatal biochemical toxicity of DNA chain terminators like AZT, in view of the hypothetically fatal HIV. But this is no longer true. In the face of the inevitable toxicity of anti-HIV drugs (Duesberg & Rasnick, 1998; Christensen, 2000), the HIV-AIDS orthodoxy is now softening its stand. According to Science News, AIDS doctors do now implement "drug holidays" for all those HIV-positives suffering "from the nasty side effects and the rigors of the treatment" (Christensen, 2000). Thus even mainstream, Durban Declaration-signing AIDS doctors now recommend "drug holidays" to their patients to recover from their prescriptions.

This is a very promising development, one that could unite us all at last! Certainly neither side of the AIDS debate would consider insulin-holidays for diabetes patients, or dialysis holidays for kidney patients. Therefore the recommended anti-HIV drug holidays are a significant step away from the "hit hard and early" days of the International AIDS conference in Vancouver in 1996.

Perhaps we could all agree at our next meeting in Johannesburg to extend drug holidays for all HIV-positives and AIDS patients for a very, very long time.

Presented to the African AIDS panel.


Christensen, D., (2000): Taking a break; Can interrupting their treatment benefit HIV-infected people? Science News 157: 248-249.

Duesberg, P. H. & D. Rasnick, (1998): The AIDS dilemma: drug diseases blamed on a passenger virus. Genetica 104: 85-132.




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