magazine describes HIV "cocktail therapy" benefits as
IN THIS MAJOR FEATURE
(March 2000), staff writer Celia Farber (an RA Group Board member)
reports on the failure of the protease inhibitor drug "cocktails"
to fulfill their much-hyped and little-scrutinized promise. Farber
reminds readers of the ecstatic claims that attended the 1996 introduction
of this therapy, including anecdotal accounts of dying AIDS patients
"rising from the dead," thanks to these drugs.
She quotes HIV-AIDS critic David Rasnick,
a protease inhibitor researcher and fellow RA Group Board member,
pointing out that these "Lazarus" effects eluded the clinical
trials, which never demonstrated a health benefit for the drugs.
Farber cites mainstream scientists and physicians who now refute
the four contributions that won superstar scientist David Ho the
Time magazine 1996 "Person of the Year":
the therapy itself (it harms more people than it might help), the
"hit hard, hit early" strategy (symptom-free people who
test "HIV-positive" are more likely to suffer the toxic
effects and less likely to enjoy any apparent benefits), its theoretical
basis (the "virological mayhem" math model is wrong),
and the "viral load" technique to quantify its effects
(the test doesn't measure viruses).
ACT-UP chapter forms in Hollywood
LONG-TIME HEAL-LA and
Alive & Well-LA speaker and organizer Rod Knoll has opened a
Hollywood chapter of ACT-UP (www.actuphollywood.com). ACT-UP was
one of the original gay-oriented activist groups that lobbied hard
for "the government" to produce a viral model and a pharmaceutical
treatment for AIDS.
In recent years disaffected members formed a dissident
chap-ter, ACT-UP/San Francisco (www.actupsf.com), which promotes
the alternative view that non-HIV factors -- such as recreational
drugs and "anti-HIV" pharmaceuticals themselves -- are
among the actual causes of AIDS. ACT-UP/Hollywood represents the
organization's second "dissident" chapter.
The chapter has already locked horns with KABC talk
radio host Al Rantel and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. A center
official canceled the group's paid meeting space, fearing that a
public AIDS reappraisal would be "injurious to the community."
succeeds Rasnick as RA Group president
IN JANUARY, THE RA GROUP'S
president, David Rasnick, stepped aside after three years. The Group
elected Board member Roberto Giraldo to succeed him. Rasnick holds
a PhD in chemistry and has worked as an industry protease inhibitor
researcher. He remains an active member of the Group's Board.
Giraldo is a physician and author of AIDS
and Stressors . He has formal expertise in infectious, tropical,
and immunological diseases. In his native Colombia, he served as
a department chairman at a medical school and developed extensive
clinical experience as a practicing primary care physician. He left
for the United States in 1987 when colleagues responded harshly
to his open reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS model (RA April
In his current position at a New York City university
laboratory performing the various HIV tests, he has become an expert
in that field. His former Colombian colleagues have come to respect
his assessment that HIV does not cause AIDS. On several occasions
they hosted him for guest presentations at the country's largest
THE RA GROUP
AIDS to become Rethinking AIDS
has elected to modify its name and the name of
this publication. Effective May, 2000, the RA Group will be known
as "The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of AIDS," and
the name of this publication will return to its original title, "Rethinking
AIDS." Board members decided that the new names are less unwieldy
than the current ones.