news producer Nicholas Regush doubts the HIV explanation
of AIDS and considers alternative explanations in his abcnews.com
will he ever get accurate data and sensible analysis onto the stories
he produces for World News Tonight, Nightline, & 20/20?
Those who insist on accuracy and rationality in
HIV/AIDS journalism have gained a potent ally in ABCNEWS medical
science producer Nicholas Regush, whose stories appear on Peter
Jennings' World News Tonight , Ted Koppel's Nightline
, and Barbara Walters's 20/20, often reported by medical
correspondent Timothy Johnson, MD. Though Regush has not yet gotten
the AIDS reappraisal perspective into his AIDS broadcast features,
he advanced it explicitly and enthusiastically several times last
year in his weekly internet column, "Second Opinion" (www.abcnews.com,
then click on "Health & Living," then "Second
Because his commentaries document important information
(some of it original) and offer much promise, rather than describe
his columns at length, this issue of RA reprints several
of them, either in whole or in part (to ensure their easily accessed
inclusion in the permanent record of this topic).
Regush's "Second Opinions" describe his
frustrations in getting funded researchers and government officials
to answer scientific criticisms and probing questions about the
lucrative HIV-AIDS model and other heavily funded scientific claims,
such as the safety, necessity, and efficacy of certain pharmaceuticals
His conclusions validate two essential counts made
by others in the pages of RA in our continuing series
documenting "The Myth of Academic Freedom."
First, many popular scientific concepts enjoy protection
from scrutiny. Professional and academic censorship, rather than
being exceptional, is common: it protects not just the HIV-AIDS
model, but many other politically correct ideas as well. Regush
describes how reporters enforce this censorship (by ignoring or
misrepresenting dissenting scientists), and how such censorship
applies to them: If they publicize dissenting scientists or scrutinize
the prevailing view, they risk losing access to their prominent
sources, who tend to be vested in these views.
Second, the censorship of HIV-AIDS critics is the
most brazen example of contemporary intellectual suppression.
The articles reprinted here compose a series in
which Regush accurately describes and fairly evaluates the rethinking
AIDS perspective. In the course of his research, he opened productive
communications with prominent critics who doubt that HIV can explain
AIDS. His internet articles promote the questions raised by these
critics, and seriously consider the alternative explanations for
AIDS that they propose, including non-infectious factors such as
narcotics consumption, the very drugs used to treat HIV, and poverty.
This level of scrutiny from a respected journalist
of course represents a significant victory for truth and accuracy.
But Regush has yet to get an AIDS reappraisal perspective into any
of his broadcast reports. He has declined to discuss anything having
to do with HIV/AIDS on the record outside of his carefully worded
Regush writ es passionately about this topic. Anybody
reading his columns will conclude that he not only recognizes that
HIV/AIDS media coverage lacks facts, skepticism, and balance but
that he intends to do something about it. His abstention from further
comment seems like a safeguard against undermining an unstated intention
to succeed where other honest reporters have failed: to treat HIV/AIDS
as a news item rather than a public service announcement. -- Paul
The following articles by ABCNEWS medical
producer Nicholas Regush originally appeared on the ABCNEWS webpage,
abcnews.com, which still archeives them. They appear here slightly
revised and in order of their original 1999 web publication, though
without dates, since ABCNEWS doesn't date its internet articles.
to Differ by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas Regush
Medical Profession Doesn't Always Welcome Diversity of
HIV Party Line by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas
Is It Time for AIDS Scientists to Open Some New Research
Dogmatism will get HIV researches nowhere. Some HIV/AIDS
researchers seem to have forgotten what scientific inquiry is all
Land by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas Regus
Question AZT for Babies and People Get Hot Under
Considering the many side effects of the AIDS drug AZT,
the question of giving it to pregnant women should be weighed carefully
instead of being blindly accepted.
for My Baby, Please by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas
Why Parents With HIV Don't Treat Their Kids
Has the government stepped over the line when it uses armed
guards to force mothers to give their
babies AZT? Some moms think so and are fighting to
keep their kids AZT-free.
Debate About It by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas
HIV Causes What?
HIV in Our Genes? by ABCNEWS medical producer Nicholas
Now there's a Question Worth Asking
A small minority of researchers think that HIV may not be
a foreign body that causes AIDS after being introduced in a human.
Rather, the virus may be produced by our own bodies when our genetic
material is broken down by other toxins.