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I'm a journalist who has spent some time investigating AIDS denialism
and those who have been affected by it. This film is very dangerous,
and will likely lead to many lost lives.
Since it would take too long here to debunk the various outrageous claims made in the film, let me address just two points it conveniently glosses over:
First, Christine Maggiore, the HIV+ activist who has avoided antiretroviral drugs with supposedly no ill consequences, is dead. She died of AIDS-related pneumonia, aged 52. Her daughter Eliza Jane, whose contraction of HIV was undoubtedly helped by Maggiore's refusal of antiretrovirals and breast feeding, also died of AIDS-related pneumonia, aged 3.
Second, Kim Marie Bannon, another of the film's HIV+ activists who have avoided antiretroviral drugs with supposedly no ill consequences, is presently residing in a care home with HIV encephalitis. She is dying of AIDS.
Why are these fairly important facts pushed to one side? Perhaps they got in the way of creating such an "objective" film.
I had the pleasure of catching this ground-breaking documentary at the
Riverdance Film Festival in early October. The organiser even called it
'possibly THE most incredible example of documentary film making I have
ever seen'. And I have to agree.
Let me get one thing straight up front.
If asking more questions instantly defines a person as a denialist then alarm bells should ring red hot. It is for this simple basis of asking the RIGHT questions, such as 'what is the difference between HIV and AIDS' or 'have the drugs improved the health of patients', that line the Director up for attack.
As a person diagnosed with HIV for over 16 years, and never once taking the drugs, I wholeheartedly applaud this timely film. It moved me to tears, I shook my fist at the screen in disgust, and simultaneously felt an unusual sense of humanitarianism pour from a film about a most tragic world health disaster.
See it with a truly open mind and without prejudice. In years to come you might be able to say you were part of turning of the tide.
On the plus side, it's a wonderful demonstration of how compelling
blatantly incorrect theories can be, using misquoted experts and
ignoring well-known contradictions.
In addition to the glaring omissions that JC from the UK pointed out here on 3 March 2010, many more can be found on Wikipedia, which denialists shockingly don't seem to be keen on "correcting": See WikiPedia's "AIDS_denialism" and "Misconceptions_about_HIV_and_AIDS".
For example, the film points to the theory that Poppers were the root cause of Kaposi's Sarcoma in the original US gay community, but those Wikipedia pages point to real studies that conclusively disprove that theory. The film does not mention this.
Also, two of the interviewed experts (Constantine and Weiss) explain how they were completely misquoted and misrepresented: See google for "constantine and weiss pinpoint misrepresentations"
The idea of inaccurate HIV testing seemed to play a large role in the film, even though studies show it is 99.9% accurate. (I'm not sure if this includes PCR tests, which perhaps are 100% conclusive?) The film does not mention this.
Also, the film refers to Padian's study on HIV transmission, but completely misrepresents it, as she herself explains: (See: "HIV heterosexual transmission and the Padian paper myth". Basically, she says the study was specifically analyzing safe-sex interventions (condom usage in couples), and simply showed the effectiveness of condoms, not the non-transmissibility of the virus. The film deceptively hides this piece of information.)
The film is highly deceptive, and outright false on most of it's critical points. But it was an entertaining and compelling narrative while it lasted.
Its like one of these "condoms do not prevent AIDS" or "teach the
controversy" moments. The most selective reporting you will ever see..
Picking out the least credible and dishonest people out there who want
to make a name for themselves and earn some money and cutting out
awkward peaces of interviews with those rare experts in ti. Crackpot
journalists, pseudo scientists, and most of all conspiracy theorists..
Exploiting poor African countries and its people, poorly qualified medical workers, those rare lucky individuals whose immune system successfully holds the virus at bay, etc.. Selecting out all these and all the possibly imaginable theories that could support his agenda..
Why is there no cure? What is that supposed to mean?... Why is there no cure for Alzheimers, or cancer? If your BS alarm didn't go off at least a hundred times, them I am sorry, but you are naive and gullible.
This Brent Leung is a criminal in my eyes.. I have seen references to this documentary on many sites now, which means people are actually believing this nonsense and it certainly means that there will indirectly be many lives lost because of this.
This guy didn't even spare the poor guy that went with his agenda in desperation... "This guy is taking HIV medicine" and a few seconds later "He died shortly after recording this video", therefore don't take your medicine or you will die...
Either homophobia is behind this, or some "christian family values", but certainly that deadly sort of inhumane capitalism and greed. Just because one is allowed to make money by selling lies and dangerous speculations, some lowlife will inevitably grab the opportunity..
Its the most dishonest thing you will see, and all because this virus is really complicated and resilient, more than anything we previously encountered. It mutates so quickly that there are virtually millions of different strains out there.. Of course we had a lot of problems detecting and fighting it and of course scientists want as much money as they can get for fighting it. Of course you will find people that were misdiagnosed, etc, etc.
Eh, it just makes me angry. This Brent Leung made a career and a lot of money out of this, while those crackpot wannabe "scientists" and "journalists" in it got a little attention and opened doors into conspiracy theory world..They will never see or hear about those ones that will die as a result of this documentary.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seems that one of Brent Leung's motives for this documentary is to
convince us that HIV does not cause AIDS. Ridiculous. Dr. Ronald
Swanstrom, retrovirologist, discovered and isolated the glycol Gag
proteins of HIV. (Glyco-Gag proteins can be considered as nonstructural
retroviral proteins.) This allowed other scientists to create the
antiretrovirals that target these HIV proteins and keep the virus from
replicating. If there was no HIV virus then these same antiretrovirals
would be ineffective. Even a grade schooler could figure this out-if
there is no virus then the medicine to treat that virus would be
Mr. Leung seems to be proud of the fact that after his documentary was released, some countries cut their HIV funds. Why would any decent human being be proud of that? The drug companies probably love him. They can use this documentary as an excuse to get the pressure off of them to provide the people of Africa with free antiretrovirals. I wonder if Mr Leung didn't have a hinden agenda. Perhaps he is a member of one of those religious groups who believe gays and people who have sex before marriage should be punished.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The two women that are featured in this film that are "healthy" have both died. Both died of AIDS related illnesses. Despite what the deniers are telling you, AIDS is real. Just about everything in this film has been reputed in some form or another. The director got a bunch of footage to support a denialist agenda and edited it together to make it seem like there is this some sort of debate in the scientific community. There isn't. Both of the two major researchers that he got interviews with have gone on record saying that their comments were taken out of context, or that the footage was edited in such a fashion to make it seem that they disagreed when in fact the opposite is true. The director wants to claim he's neutral yet he's done denialist films before. Most of the theories he's mentioning have been disproved for years but denialists claim them to support their position. Sure, there was debate twenty years ago, but not now. Medicine evolves over time. This film is just sad, and it's going to get people killed.
This entertaining, fascinating and shocking journey is clearly
upsetting to many people that like to present a nice, simple,
easy-to-understand perspective of HIV/AIDS without complications. The
opinions expressed in it are often contradictory and the evidence from
authoritative sources is often deeply shocking to people that they've
only been presented with a very cut-down picture of what's really going
on. Sitting between two people diagnosed HIV+ at one screening, there
were moments when they gasped at some of the views expressed and
evidence presented. When one acknowledged orthodox expert said in the
film, "a person with a healthy immune system can clear the virus", one
of them gasped and said, "That's not what we've been told".
This film raises serious and fundamental questions not just about HIV/AIDS but by implication about the robustness of the way medical science works in reality, the appropriateness of having unquestioning faith in experts and the effectiveness of the media as a watchdog on wrongdoing on fields of endeavour that most people don't have time to analyse themselves.
This documentary is a waste of time for those who watch it and those
who made it. All the "evidence" in this movie is either outdated,
twisted out of context, or false.
The most hysterical part is the beginning where the director says he has lots of questions about aids and is going on a journey to uncover the truth. It's obvious he is already a hardcore AIDS denier and only intends to present this point of view, no matter how illogical.
I have a very open mind, and am an admitted conspiracy theorist. However, disproven conspiracies, such as this one, with no factual basis, are not worth learning about.
Dear Mr. Director, if you really don't think the AIDS virus exists then why not just infect yourself and document your life for a few years? If it's as harmless as you say then you have nothing to worry about.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent documentary revealing the psychotic nature of the
medical model of care dominated by big pharmaceutical companies who
will stop at nothing to make a buck. Leung demonstrates that there is a
price on everyone's head and those who are most dis-empowered (those
living in poverty) are the easiest targets and the first prey.
Leung ventures far and wide in his search for the HIV virus. He speaks to the chief scientists and practitioners who speak authoritatively on the subjects of histology, electron microscopy, epidemiology, history and pharmacology in his quest to discover the truth of the whereabouts of this virus. Nobody can tell him where it is! Leung reveals the shocking truth about what is actually killing AIDS suffers.
Watch this film if you care about people. After you've watched this film challenge everyone interested in fighting AIDS to show you the published study in which the HIV virus was supposedly isolated. You'll be amazed to find that no one knows where it is!
H.L. Mencken wrote: "What begins as a guess--or, perhaps, not infrequently, as a downright and deliberate lie--ends as a fact and is embalmed in the history books." Interviewing all the major players in the HIV-AIDS debate over the past 25 years--orthodox and dissidents alike--and filmed and edited with superb production values, this first documentary by Brent Leung explores the genesis of a bad guess, and quite possibly a deliberate lie. It reveals anomalies from the single pathogen theory of AIDS, which look more and more like evidence against a rush-to-judgment in 1984 (appropriate year), when the Reagan Administration embraced and politicized junk science in an effort to quiet criticism of its "insensitivity" to gay men. Of course, we gay men immediately embraced the single pathogen theory also, because it made AIDS "everybody's disease," and shoved under the carpet all the questions about the immuno-suppressive nature of: (1) unprecedented exchange of old pathogens in incestuous urban gay enclaves; (2) unprecedented ingestion of toxins in the form of both legal and illegal drugs, which fueled the party lifestyle of the sexual revolution; and (3) the condition in which gay men found ourselves as a hated minority as the religious right reared its ugly head. What Brent Leung's film really does is to scream: "Let's take another look at this junk science theory!" Yes, the orthodox get some of their quotes taken slightly out of context--the limitations of a 90-minute film covering a huge amount of ground--but when you put them in context, they present an even worse case for their conclusion that a mysterious little retroviral bug is the single cause of multi-factorial immune deficiency. (Just take a look at the YouTube full interview with Montagnier, in which he says our own natural immune systems can rid us of the mysterious HIV within just a few weeks--completely undermining the "once-you-get-it-you-always-have-it orthodoxy.) Many of us have researched and written on this subject (my own writing can be found at www.terrymichael.net, "Special Report on HIV-AIDS" linked at my home page), but our words have been confined to the internet. Leung's film brings to a theater near you the serious debate the HIV-AIDS Industrial Complex has denied us for 25 years. See it, and be amazed that most of what you thought about HIV-AIDS is, as Mencken would say, a downright and deliberate lie, by an establishment that increasingly resembles a religious cult, more than it practices rational science.
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