HIV denialism is a contradictory set of claims, without foundation in science, that HIV does not exist, or that it exists but is harmless, and that AIDS does not exist. These mistaken beliefs have a negative impact on HIV prevention efforts and access to treatment, especially in the communities most devastated by HIV, when the misinformation leads people to make choices that may not be in their best interest. HIV denialism has been especially harmful in the Internet age as people go to the Internet for their information and unknowingly choose resources that contain inaccurate and misleading information about HIV, how it is transmitted, and the effect it has on the body. Included in this section are documents about the impact of HIV denialism on the public’s perception of HIV, its treatments, and its role in causing illness.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Letter, Responding to Complaint Regarding Airing of Denialist Video
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) investigated and affirmed major complaints filed by the Center for HIV Law and Policy and AIDStruth.org that “Guinea Pig Kids,” an independent video aired on the BBC in 2004, made false and misleading claims about pediatric clinical trials of AIDS medicines that included foster children with HIV/AIDS living at New York City’s Incarnation Children’s Center (ICC). The affirmation of the complaint is very important because the credibility of the BBC had lent undeserved legitimacy to false accusations against ICC and to the disinformation about HIV/AIDS, clinical trials, and antiretroviral treatments that is spread by HIV denialists. Click here to download.
Information about HIV denialism and denialists, the truth about HIV science, and helpful links. Although the rhetoric directed at denialists may be too strong for some, it is one of the more comprehensive and useful sites addressing the concerns related to HIV denialism.
HIV Denial in the Internet Era, Tara C. Smith & Steven P. Novella
This article by an epidemiologist and a neurologist briefly summarizes some of the core features of HIV denialism. The authors note how the availability of the Internet has greatly facilitated the dissemination of pseudoscientific views and the manipulation of the public’s understanding of HIV-related science through. The article also discusses the rhetorical methods and arguments employed by HIV denialism, such as selective distrust of scientific authority, the portrayal of science as faith and consensus as dogma, and the continuous resetting of the threshold of evidence required for acceptance of a scientific theory.
Click here to download.