Rethinking AIDS (RA) History

In 1987, Dr. Peter Duesberg published a paper on cancer research in which he made the case that HIV (a retrovirus, the same class of virus suspected at the time to cause cancer) cannot be the cause of AIDS.

Four years later, in 1991, after mounting criticism of Duesberg’s position, and simultaneous support from a growing number of scientists who felt that HIV science just didn’t add up, a number of scientists formed “The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis” (often shortened to simply "The Group") and submitted a letter to the editors of Nature, Science, The Lancet, and The New England Journal of Medicine, all of whom refused to publish it.

This letter contained a statement of the founding principles of the organization that was originally signed by 32 people, including Charles Thomas, Harvey Bialy, Harry Rubin, Richard C. Strohman, Phillip E. Johnson, Beverly Griffin, Robert Root-Bernstein, Gordon Stewart, John Lauritsen, Bernard Forscher, Kary Mullis, Eleni Eleopulos and Joan Shenton:

"It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes the group diseases called AIDS. Many biochemical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose that a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that critical epidemiological studies be devised and undertaken."

It was only four years later that "The Group" was able to have a letter, signed by 12 people, including several scientists with advanced medical degrees, published in Science (17 Feb. 1995, vol. 267, pp. 945-946), which read:

"We have proposed that researchers independent of the HIV establishment should audit the Centers for Disease Control's records of AIDS cases, bearing in mind that the correlation of HIV with AIDS, upon which the case for HIV causation rests, is itself an artefact of the definition of AIDS. Since 1985, exactly the same diseases or conditions have been defined as 'AIDS' when antibodies are present, and as "non-AIDS" when HIV and antibodies are absent. Independent professional groups such as the Society of Actuaries should be invited to nominate members for an independent commission to investigate the following question: How frequently do AIDS-defining diseases (or low T cell counts) occur in the absence of HIV? Until we have a definition of AIDS that is independent of HIV, the supposed correlation of HIV and AIDS is mere tautology. Other independent researchers should examine the validity of the so-called 'AIDS tests,' especially when these tests are used in Africa and Southern Asia, to see if they reliably record the presence of antibodies, let alone live and replicating virus."

Since this letter was published, over 2,600 people have signed their names in agreement to the founding statement. This list comprises "The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis."

The Group established a long-running newsletter titled "Rethinking AIDS" (renamed "Reappraising AIDS" for a time, and then back again), and subsequently established itself as a 501(3)(c) [non-profit] organization, with the official combined name: "Rethinking AIDS: The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis." As a result of the newsletter's name and its synonymity with the organization, The Group also became known as "RA" or "Rethinking AIDS".

A subset of the 2,600 signatories comprise the RA Board of Directors.

The bylaws of the organization can be viewed here.

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