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I am Albert Einstein, and I heartily approve of this blog, insofar as it seems to believe both in science and the importance of intellectual imagination, uncompromised by out of date emotions such as the impulse toward conventional religious beliefs, national aggression as a part of patriotism, and so on.   As I once remarked, the further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.   Certainly the application of the impulse toward blind faith in science whereby authority is treated as some kind of church is to be deplored.  As I have also said, the only thing that ever interfered with my learning was my education. I am Freeman Dyson, and I approve of this blog, but would warn the author that life as a heretic is a hard one, since the ignorant and the half informed, let alone those who should know better, will automatically trash their betters who try to enlighten them with independent thinking, as I have found to my sorrow in commenting on "global warming" and its cures.
Many people would die rather than think – in fact, they do so. – Bertrand Russell.

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A sudden bold and unexpected question doth many times surprise a man and lay him open. – Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

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Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform. – Mark Twain

Although science has led to the generally high living standards that most of the industrialized world enjoys today, the astounding discoveries underpinning them were made by a tiny number of courageous, out-of-step, visionary, determined, and passionate scientists working to their own agenda and radically challenging the status quo. – Donald W. Braben

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When even the brightest mind in our world has been trained up from childhood in a superstition of any kind, it will never be possible for that mind, in its maturity, to examine sincerely, dispassionately, and conscientiously any evidence or any circumstance which shall seem to cast a doubt upon the validity of that superstition. I doubt if I could do it myself. – Mark Twain

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AIDS 2012 Conference: 25,000 Rally In Washington Folly

July 22nd, 2012

Celebrities Lead Latest Performance of Science’s Global Pantomime

Activists and Media Briefed Before Curtain Rises

Scientific Literature Remains Corrupted and Unread

Please help this earnest young woman find a way to stop the epidemic of HIV antibodies by correcting the science of HIV/AIDSIn what, according to critics who read the peer reviewed scientific literature, is the greatest piece of tomfoolery in science and medicine today, a very great gathering is upon us.

Surfing onto the broad bureaucratic beach of the nation’s capital on a wave of media coverage leading up to Global AIDS 2012, an army of HIV/AIDS scientists, health workers, NGO staff and like assorted taxpayer, pharma and charity funded HIV assault teams of all sizes have descended on Washington.

These serried ranks of HIV warriors will spend the week sharing their latest insights, achievements and ambitions, not to mention their latest tips on how to win more funding for a fight that the general public seems to be less impressed with than ever before.

As usual the excitement will be stirred to a higher level by activists, who were especially briefed by the Conference organizers yesterday, before the grand pow-wow officially opened. The media, too, were relieved of any puzzlement as to the official scientific and public health ideology on which the entire enterprise rests in a special briefing yesterday also.

The fly in the HIV/AIDS ointment

Unfortunately, these media students like the rest of the vast assembly will not be apprised of what is the most extraordinary aspect of the enterprise, which is that according to the best published peer reviewed scientific analysis it is founded on a giant mistake. The cause of all the AIDS symptoms that all these worthy people are striving to cure is, unfortunately, not the notorious virus that they have written into the very name of the disease they imagine themselves to be addressing, HIV/AIDS.
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The method of science is the method of bold conjectures and ingenious and severe attempts to refute them. – Karl Popper
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According to articles written by the most intellectually distinguished scientist in the field a quarter century ago, in two of the most reliable publications in science, HIV was not and could not be the cause of AIDS, or indeed of any illness of any kind. The research reviewed in the articles showed, the author demonstrated, with the imprimatur of his peers affixed to his work by virtue of unusually rigorous peer review, that HIV was too limited genetically to do any harm, let alone perform the rather complicated trick of devastating your immune system as long as twenty years after you had been exposed to it.

The articles in Cancer Research in 1987 and in the Proceedings of the National Academy in 1989 pointed out that not only was HIV a type of virus that had never been found to damage any cell, let alone kill it, but it was a type suspected earlier of causing cancer, which is the exact opposite of cell killing. Not only that, but HIV had proved almost impossible to find in AIDS patients, even dying ones. Then, and ever since, “HIV positive” actually meant that a test for HIV antibodies was positive.

A positive HIV test should be reassuring, but tell that to the 25,000 people in Washington this weekBy the standards of accepted medicine this should be very welcome news for any testee with a positive result, since it means that his body has overcome all the HIV which entered it, which is why it is very hard to find HIV in an HIV/AIDS patient, even a dying one. This is a very simple principle understood by any ten year old that is taught it in school. A disease causing agent when overcome by the body’s immune soldiers, your antibodies, is banished, leaving only antibodies, the evidence of your new immunity to it, and that immunity will typically last for a very long time.

The two articles pointed out this fundamental flaw in HIV/AIDS thinking, as well as many more technical problems with the idea that HIV caused any illness of any kind, let alone AIDS.

The complete and firm rejection of HIV as the cause of AIDS was in fact the conclusion of both articles, based on the copious research that had been done on HIV by that point, which was referenced in hundreds of footnotes.

Follow up articles on the same lines clinching the case against HIV have followed through the years, as research expanded to show that HIV was in fact not transmitted between heterosexuals, and that there was never any epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the US, where the number of people who are HIV positive has remained around one million for 25 years, according to the CDC.
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If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
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What then could be blamed for the massive death rate in the US of victims of AIDS, and the catastrophic loss to society of many artists and other distinguished patients who succumbed to the devastating disease? According to these and later critical reviews, the answer was clear.

In the US and in Europe it was at first recreational drugs which destroyed patients’ immune systems, not HIV. But soon enough, the culprit was the drugs administered to them under the dangerously false theory that HIV was the cause of their symptoms.

In Africa and Asia, what was happening was not HIV/AIDS either, but a relabeling of other diseases and deprivation as HIV/AIDS by health workers and politicians who soon found, like their US counterparts, this was an Open Sesame to an Ali Baba level of funding.

Why haven’t you heard that HIV is harmless?

Whatever happened to all these damning reviews, and some thirty five books so far which have explained all this to a lay audience?

The initial two reviews rejecting HIV mentioned above were never answered in the same journals, even though the leading HIV/AIDS scientists promised to reply. The chosen means of defense has been political, damning the critique in the press, on the Web and behind the scenes.
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It is difficult to mark the limits of superstition. – Voltaire
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The leading scientific critic, till then impeccable in reputation and a favorite son at the NIH whose grants were never denied, has not won an NIH grant in the 25 years since he rejected HIV, even for the cancer research in which he is still a recognized leader and innovator.

It aint over till the fat lady sings...but what if the truth is hidden away behind the scenes?In a telling incident recounted in the sharpest book so far surveying the history of this debacle, that most dangerous critic was invited to the opera by a leading HIV/AIDS scientist. At drinks afterwards, a paper renouncing his critique was produced and his signature sought “for your own good”.

What little contradiction of the central points of the scientific critique has been attempted in other scientific journals has been marked by limited debate cut off prematurely by editors, in one famous instance Nature publicly denying the most prominent and expert HIV critic the “right of reply”.

Even by the time the first critique was published in 1987, HIV research had become a sacred cash cow, and resistance to questioning it was already intense, as internal memos at NIAID have revealed.

It’s the drugs, stupid; the weaker the better

But what eventually became and remains the single pillar of support of the belief that HIV is the culprit for AIDS in the US and therefore in the world (despite the radical difference in nature of symptoms in Africa and elsewhere) has been the idea that, as President Clinton put it to us once, “the drugs work, don’t they?” Contrary to the early experience of AIDS, patients began living longer when new drug “cocktails” (with protease inhibitors) designed to attack HIV were introduced in the mid nineties.

This improvement was trumpeted as the great success of HIV/AIDS policy which finally proved that it was on the right track in attacking HIV directly as the cause of AIDS. If the cause was not HIV, why would such drugs benefit patients so impressively?

Unfortunately, given the astonishing lack of proof that HIV causes harm (not a single paper demonstrating that this or any other retrovirus kills cells exists) an infinitely more likely interpretation is that as the drugs have been slowly reduced in toxicity, patients have naturally done better under their assault.

Initially death rates were high and death was quicker when AZT was prescribed in high doses, which was not surprising, since AZT had earlier been shelved as a tumor killer because it was rapidly more lethal to the patient than the cancers.

Since the AZT dose was reduced in the nineties as the new protease inhibitors were mixed into the new “cocktails”. life under standard HIV treatment naturally became better and longer, and by the time AZT was removed from the standard regimen in 2006, everybody was convinced that the newer drugs against HIV were more effective, rather than they simply had fewer side effects. The more sensitive patients still eventually die at a high rate in the end, the CDC shows: the current rate of US HIV/AIDS is still 17,000 a year.

This simple reasoning is not rocket science, yet the global HIV/AIDS army still uniformly follows the ideology of HIV/AIDS as posted on the Web site of NIAID, whose un-peer-reviewed pages currently serve as the impervious counter argument to any critique of HIV/AIDS lore. After earlier global conferences when anyone suggesting that it was more than HIV at fault was run out of town – including Luc Montagnier, the Frenchman who would eventually win the Nobel with his colleague at the Pasteur Institute for discovering HIV – there has been no discussion of any alternative to HIV for a decade.

Science by name calling

Elephants charging the gaps in HIV/AIDS theory, but all the HIV/AIDS proponents can see is the ivory of their billion dollar tusksIn the media, questioners of HIV seem to be routinely filed with climate change deniers, whether by reporters or defenders of the faith among scientists, the most prominent of whom wrote a notorious Op Ed piece in the Times labeling them “denialists” and the idea that HIV did not cause AIDS “deadly quackery”, “bizarre” and “dangerous” because one head of state, South Africa’s thoughtful Thabo Mbeki, became reluctant to authorize anti-HIV drugs until the contradictions in the standard dogma were explained.

This disrespect for opponents is an embarrassment to good scientists, who know that free exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of scientific progress, But it is also a signal that HIV/AIDS defenders do not have the answers. It is not just that they don’t have answers to the technical questions scientists might ask, such as how does HIV actually cause immune weakness, the central characteristic of “acquired immune deficiency syndrome”. It is that they cannot answer simple questions that occur to any layman who reads the New York Times on HIV/AIDS attentively.

More than one elephant in the room

Among the most obvious of these is the odd fact the HIV test is one that tests for antibodies, not HIV. Why is this? Because there is not enough HIV present in anybody to test for it directly. In fact, while billions have been spent in search of a vaccine for HIV, it is clear that HIV itself would do very well as a vaccine – against itself. Like any cold virus, three weeks after HIV enters the body, it has roused so many antibodies to rout it that it is effectively banished from the body and impossible to find.

Then there is the fact that supposedly the same disease has been concentrated in gays in the West for thirty years, while in Africa it has spread evenhandedly between the sexes. A related anomaly is that a supposedly transmissible disease which began with one million infected 25 years ago in the US infects no more today. Year after year, the CDC has recorded around one million HIV positives in the US, though it recently has raised its estimate to 1.2 million. The expected heterosexual epidemic has never transpired in this country.

This of course is not surprising when you consider that the HIV tests are for antibodies to HIV, and actual HIV is effectively absent from patients. HIV tests have to be for antibodies, since any HIV present is so negligible in quantity that it can only be detected with PCR, a special means of multiplying any vestigial HIV or its parts until it can be identified, which is like finding a single needle in a hayfield and multiplying it into a sackful.

In fact, the bottom line scientific truth, which by rights should bring all proceedings in Washington to a screeching halt, is this: a “positive HIV test” means you are actually HIV negative. No danger, no transmission.

25,000 chasing a phantom epidemic

JohnAlexander's Ship Of Fools has nothing on the 25,000 passenger liner berthed in Washington this week So what attendees at the Washington Fair should be contemplating is the puzzle of why they are fighting what must be a phantom epidemic, since any transmission of HIV antibodies through sex is clearly impossible: your antibodies do not transmit to me or anyone else.

In fact, contrary to official propaganda warnings, science has confirmed that HIV positivity does not transmit through heterosexual sex. A leading HIV/AIDS research general, Nancy Padian, ran the largest study ever of discordant heterosexual couples (one positive, one negative) in California in the nineties for six years. Nearly fifty of the over four hundred couples took no precautions whatsoever, yet Padian was unable to record one single transmission.

The spectacle of 25,000 people pursuing a phantom epidemic while people suffer and die from ailments labeled HIV/AIDS which might be cured by different drugs and treatment, especially by better nutrition, always a key to a healthy immune system, would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic, and didn’t involve the misspending of billions of public and charity dollars and the waste of the energies of so many virtuously motivated people.

Those at the top of HIV/AIDS who have resisted so strenuously any outside review of their efforts have much to answer for. But it doesn’t look as if they will have to worry any time soon. So large is the system around the world that combines vast public funding and global bureaucracy, charity, health officials, health workers, medical providers, drug companies and activists that this Ship of Fools is probably now incapable of changing course, let alone turning and steaming back in the opposite direction.

NIAID Tormenting Blacks with HIV/AIDS Nonscience

July 10th, 2012

PBS Newshour and Frontline serve as national platform for scientific fantasy

“This is not love”: wife discovers with horror her new husband’s hidden test result

Importance of testing all Afro-Americans stated

Next week’s global AIDS meet in Washington will dump all this irrationality and more on our doorstep

Gwen Ifill and Phill Wilson are concerned at the Black AIDS epidemic in the US and are willing to say whatever NIAID says is necessary to defeat itExciting drama tonight presented on PBS Newshour and Frontline (Tues Jul 10), stamped with all the authority of public television and its reputation for evading commercial sales pitches, and Frontline’s sterling record in exposing misguided government and weak business ethics. Who else can we rely on these days for telling it like it is on tv, in balanced and objective reporting, informed by the best government and professional sources?

And what is the story presented on television’s most respected current affairs documentary platform? It is two hours centered on how and why the blacks are catching up with gays in scoring the most positive HIV antibody tests, and how this public health problem is now the major sector of expansion of a deadly disease that the rest of us have been lulled into thinking is pretty much dealt with, with treatment now allowing people with HIV/AIDS to lead “long and happy lives”.

Spinning the HIV/AIDS yarn to reel in black supplicants

Every doctor, priest and shaman must have a story to engage and cowe his audience, and this is the one offered to all who test “HIV positive” (in fact, they test harmlessly HIV antibody positive, with a test that cross reacts with everything under the kitchen sink and proves the presence of anything but HIV, please see package insert, ask the druggist for it, they usually withhold such alarming notices from the general public as a favor to the physicians) by the scientists and bureaucrats and AIDS workers who are now rebuilding their congregation by labeling African Americans “HIV positive”, a fantasy condition actually unknown to good proven science.

PBS Newshour and even the otherwise reliable Frontline join the New York Times in serving as propaganda machines trumpeting this nonsense to their trusting flock. One wonders where their public responsibility begins and ends when they so easily endorse the claims of scientists while double checking the claims of everybody else, including bankers, bureaucrats and government officials.

The message: blacks are the new gays in HIV/AIDS

First we are served up a segment of the ominously titled Endgame:AIDS in Black America, the Frontline two hour report, on PBS Newshour, where our resident intrepid presenter, none other than the charming Gwen “roll-over-and-tickle me” Ifill, notes this supposed alarming statistical development of the last few years, and asks an African-American spokesman to explain what it is about American blacks that has led to this disproportinate rise in “HIV infection” among blacks, which is seen particularly, of late, among heterosexual African-American women.

Nell’s awful discovery busts her new marriage

With that lead in we then have two hours of a Frontline special featuring one sad story after another, beginning with the one highlighted in the Newshour. The newly married Nell, a very respectable and amiable mother of five and grandmother of seventeen, one day felt a strange burning urge to look inside a Certified Blood Bank envelope she found among her latest husband’s effects. The envelope fell out of his bedside Bible while she was making the bed, and it was addressed to him a year before their wedding.

Nell's happy marriage was destroyed by Dr  Anthony Fauci, in whom she placed her trustThe letter turned out to have informed him and now her, she says, that he had been “diagnosed with HIV/AIDS”. The unfortunate husband, “a man she trusted and a Deacon in her church,”, as Gwen puts it on the Newshour, at first denied there was anything when she asked if he had forgotten to tell her everything about himself. Then she showed him the letter.

Now feeling fully informed, Nell recalled that indeed she was sick all the time they honeymooned in Disney World. “After the honeymoon months went by and Nell didn’t feel any better” croons the subdued female voiceover in the Frontline segment, “but she settled into married life.” Then one morning she found the envelope…and “I read it and read it and could not believe it.”

The letter (displayed on camera) had informed her husband that he “most likely has been exposed” to the AIDS virus and that the “virus is present in your body. You must assume that you are infectious and may give the virus to others. The positive test result does not mean that you have AIDS now nor that you will definitely develop AIDS in the future.”

The first two out of those four statements are of course entirely incorrect, according to the AIDS literature. A positive result for antibodies, which is what the tests test for, means that the virus is effectively absent, and Nancy Padian, celebrated HIV/AIDS research general, showed us seventeen years ago that HIV is effectively non transmissible among healthy heterosexuals.

Now Nell’s happy home is a smoking ruin, it seems. Before this catastrophic labeling Nell had been delighted with her new consort’s lively company. “We had a lot in common, a great sense of humor and we liked to do things together”, she says, pausing, overcome with emotion, twice in telling her story. Apparently she has lost all of that – the basis of a fine marriage, now beyond retrieval. Her husband’s face is blurred out in the photos of them together.

Having accepted the story she has been sold by the HIV/AIDS establishment, Nell is outraged. Her ex-husband gets it in the neck on national television. It was the “worst kind of betrayal anyone could do to anybody. This is not love”, she says, emanating decency and respectability from every pore.

But this is not all. Two weeks later, announces Gwen, Nell found that she too was HIV positive, joining the “more than one million Americans living with HIV, with one new diagnosis every ten minutes. Government statistics show that more than half are black.” This picture is then fleshed out for two hours in Frontline from 9pm till 11pm.

Phill Wilson explains the epidemiology

At least they wouldn't have tried to test LouisBut first, we will have a talking head on PBS Newshour who tells Gwen the answer to the question we all want to know, why are blacks doing so badly in their HIV/AIDS testing? We have the honor of having this explained by Phill Wilson, in grey jacket, white shirt and black and white striped tie, with a looped pink ribbon in his lapel – is he unaware that the Black AIDS ribbon has black at the top? – who founded and now directs the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles.

Why are so many blacks testing HIV positive? Mr Wilson has the answer. He informs us they are just catching up, after a time when AIDS was “mischaracterized” as a white, gay disease, so black testing and counterneasures got off to “a slow start… the virus had a chance to take hold in our community and we have been playing catchup”. There was a lack of “leadership” till now.

How about stigma, asks Gwen, “the secret keeping, the fear”? Phill’s answer is Yes, blacks depend on their community more and suffer more when its support is withdrawn. “This undermines our ability to talk about HIV in an appropriate manner.”

“So when did this disease go from affecting white gay males to affecting women and children more broadly?” asks Gwen, apparently unwilling to say the word black in this context. Oh no, that was happening at the very beginning of AIDS avers Phill. “Black people were disproportionately impacted. They were 25% of the cases in the early early days and black women were always disproportionately impacted.”

Gwen asks about how things are going now and Phill smoothly delivers further placebos about how there is now more leadership doing a good job etc so she suggests that perhaps the case of Magic Johnson, who announced so long ago that he was HIV positive but is still doing so well, has lulled the black population into an overconfident stupor about the risks attached to HIV. “Did people say ‘Well Magic’s fine so it must be fine’?”.

The importance of HIV tests for all blacks

Phill smothers this line of thought with more cotton wool (“Well I actually think that the work that Magic has done and is doing is really important”) and then steps up to the plate and manfully announces that “Here’s the deal, we can win this battle, we actually can end the epidemic in the black community, Together we are greater than AIDS.”

“But there are two things we have to do. One we have to get informed about this disease, which is a powerful tool. Two, we have to get tested. There is no reason why we don’t know our HIV status. Last week the FDA approved an at home test. Today it’s never been easier or more important to know your HIV status. The next message is that treatments are available. I’ve been living with HIV for 32 years now. Magic is alive today. I am alive today, because we are on treatment.

At least the drug industry pays me big bucks for advertising their stuff which I personally throw down the toilet - but I would never admit it, though my wife did“The other part of the story is that people are still dying of AIDS that are not on treatment. Magic is saying you can still live your life if you do something and that is an important message that we need to spread in our community.” And why is this message important? “If someone like me who is HIV positive goes on treatment we can actually reduce our ability to transmit the virus by 96 per cent. That’s huge. That’s a game changer.”

In other words, get tested, and if positive, get on the drugs, which according to the CDC are still killing around 17,000 people a year in this country. Oddly enough, most of them die of kidney damage and other ailments which are not among the symptoms blamed on HIV. They are the resuit of taking the drugs. But Phill Wilson has not considered this aspect of the story he has swallowed so easily, it seems clear.

An entire community under threat – from the armies of NIAID

Of course, the underlying real message is that if all goes according to the story that the black community is being sold by its own leaders courtesy of PBS, the entire black population will be tested by a test which shows nothing about HIV status (it is for antibodies to the virus which has thus effectively gone from the body if it ever was there) and instead of taking a positive test as welcome evidence that they are now immune to HIV, even if it was a threat to health which the best science says it is not, they will follow Magic Johnson and Phill Wilson into the welcoming arms of the medicopharma industry.

Any representatives of this particular branch of that ever expanding industry watching must have rubbed their hands in glee at such powerful advertising for their typically useless and dangerous products in HIV/AIDS, not to mention the following two hours of Frontline which amounted to further unremitting propaganda for recruiting blacks to run like lemmings over the HIV/AIDS cliff.

Well timed for the Washington Conference

Activists will assemble for Activist Orientation on Saturday 21 July at 16.00 - MINI ROOM 2  for an orientation about the services and support that AIDS 2012 will provide for delegates' activism during the conference. The conference chair, Professor Elly Katabira will welcome you as well as the Executive Director of the IAS, Bertrand AudoinBut of course this is all part of the lead in to this year’s Global AIDS Conference 2012, to be held two weeks from now in the convenient location of Washington DC, where Anthony Fauci rules the HIV/AIDS globe from his headquarters at NIAID.

We can expect many more stories retailing his grossly unscientific assertions on public radio and television, and of course in the fellow traveling New York Times, before Sunday July 22, when the well funded extravaganza begins. By then, the whole nation and world will be as convinced as black Americans that home tests for HIV, however inaccurate and misleading in their results, are the latest step forward in defeating a dreadful disease that somehow never appears in healthy people without them taking damaging drugs, either recreational or provided by the pharma industry on the say so of Dr Anthony Fauci and his HIV/AIDS army.

Meanwhile the scientific literature clearly states that the whole story is a crock, and that all we need to cure HIV/AIDS is stop believing in scientific nonsense and treat people for the ailments they do have, currently mislabeled as HIV/AIDS. But any such suggestion is unlikely to receive a hearing at the XIX Global AIDS Conference, where the speakers will include such “Prominent Voices” among “Leaders from the worlds of science, diplomacy, politics, philanthropy and entertainment ” as President Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, HRH Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, Philanthropist Bill Gates, Humanitarian Elton John and Actress Whoopi Goldberg.

All of these will be covered in glory for standing up for the victims of HIV, and their interest in having the science corrected at the expense of their own reputations, even if it might actually help to save souls from the jaws of this fantastical global dragon, is likely to be minimal at best.

However, President Obama will be absent, sending a video in his stead for the 25,000 attendees to watch. But he and Michelle will welcome key figures from the Conference to a special reception at the White House.


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