AIDS/HIV What Purpose Does Continued Term Paper

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In other words, people become so depressed and fall into such a state of despair upon hearing that they have HIV that their immune system is weakened, which is the real cause of developing AIDS. Null blames doctors for creating a self-fulfilling prophesy in the mindset of people diagnosed with the illness, even in the minds of children. He believes that children who do not understand what causes various types of cancer, for example, have become so media-saturated that they have come to see HIV positive status as a death sentence. But worst and most commonly of all, gay men, already living a self-destructive lifestyle of promiscuity, drugs, and other risky behavior, wear out their immune syndromes even faster after being diagnosed with HIV, once they fear that they are fated to die from the illness at a young age.

Many gay men early in the epidemic had already been damaged, Null believes, by taking too many antibiotics to suppress their immune systems as a part of their treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. He, like Duesberg although not to quite the same degree of vehemence, sees treatments developed later on such as AZT as actually contributing and even causing the severity of the current epidemic in America by suppressing sufferer's immune syndromes, rather than promoting the patient's health and a stronger immune system. Like Duesberg, he blames poppers for the increase in Karcopsi's Sarcoma amongst gay men, and states that this manifestation of AIDS was largely confined to this population, while other populations associated with the epidemic did not manifest Karcopsi's Sarcoma. Also in terms of the AIDS mentality hypothesis, Null believes that drug addicts also fall into this 'live for the moment' mentality and are inclined to take poorer, rather than better care of themselves after a diagnosis of AIDS and may even use drugs more to hasten their destruction.

Much of Null's writings against AIDS take the form of extreme negativity against the medical establishment. Null, in examining a variety of hypothesizes, entertains the possibility that HIV may have originated with the polio vaccine, as he does not support vaccinating children. He blames, like Duesberg, both the medical establishment and the gay community for furthering the myth of AIDS to further their own financial and political agendas. In fact, he calls AIDS the religion of the gay community, stating that worship of AIDS research and mindfulness about AIDS has replaced some of the worship of promiscuity, unsafe sex, and drugs that existed during the pre-AIDS scare era.

More research is needed, in Null's view, not for the purpose of finding a cure or merely to disprove the research, and find out if HIV is real, or if HIV and AIDS are truly related -- rather Null hopes that people will seek out better paths of positive living, thinking, eating, and 'being' in general, which he sees as the path to promoting a better and more sane lifestyle, for all persons.

What PURPOSE does CONTINUED theorizing and research about HIV and AIDS serve according to Thomas Kuhn?

Almost all of the above-cited theorists have used Thomas Kuhn as a justification for their research. In his book, Kuhn stated that outmoded ideas of science, like Copernican theories of the earth being the center of the universe, around which all other heavenly spheres orbited, was replaced by Galileo's accurate theory in a great, revolutionary change of thinking. Human beings were no longer the center of creation, and now science rather than theology held sway. Galileo was ignored, called mad, and persecuted, but eventually his ideas completely displaced the false beliefs of the establishment of his day.

According to Robert Ross Bernstein supporter Anthony Liversidge, Thomas Kuhn would have supported such advocates as Peter Duesberg's denial of the ability of the medical community to convincingly show that AIDS and HIV are inexorably linked. The current causal link between HIV and AIDS is a hypothesis and a tenuous one at best, according to conventional standards of causality. Yes, the link is now accepted medical dogma and to question that link is profoundly destabilizing to the medical community. But all new theories that sweep away old paradigms are called crazy and heretical at first.

The theory of AIDS and HIV being associated was put forth and accepted long before there was any real convincing evidence, because of the public's desire to know, someone using Thomas Kuhn to support a doubting thesis about AIDS might state. The theory was put forward to support a political agenda, not to really support the current facts. There are too many exceptions to the thesis, such as the ways that AIDS affected different populations in profoundly different manners.

The reasoning of most AIDS researchers goes like this: if a person has HIV and manifests AIDS, they are said to die of AIDS. If a person has a compromised immune syndrome, has Karcopsi's Sarcoma, pneumonia, or other complications associated with AIDS, but does not have HIV, they do not have AIDS.

A person with HIV is an AIDS patient-to-be, even if he or she has had the virus for a number of years. If a person with HIV comes into contact with other autoimmune stressors, like taking the drug AZT, for example, and develops AIDS, then HIV was the cause, not any other external factors such as the drug. This is faulty scientific thinking and reasoning.

The media has been very reluctant to cover scientific dissent in a coherent manner, because of political pressure both from the left, in the forms of AIDS advocacy groups who wish to have more funding for AZT and current treatments, and also from the right, who enjoy seeing AIDS as a kind of punishment upon gay men for their lifestyle, and hold fast to the notion that the disease is sexually transmitted through a virus. The modern medical establishment, even though it is secular, can be just as intolerant as the old church bodies that denied Galileo the right of reply. Once the doctrine was accepted, however it was supported, it must be defended, and all other voices suppressed.

If the deniers of the association between HIV and AIDS are so wrong, why has the medical establishment tried so hard to suppress these ideas, even though Duesberg and Bernstein work at respected facilities? Also, why does the current scientific establishment show so little concern for the many unexplained facts that are not comprised by the simple association between HIV and AIDS. Eventually, Thomas Kuhn would say, the tension between what is unexplained by the theory and the theory's neatness will become too much to bear, and a new explanation will take over.

My Concluding Thoughts

The writings of these various deniers raise an important point -- politics and conventional wisdom have a great deal of influence in what both scientists and laypeople alike think is good science. Consider the old wives tale that getting wet causes a cold -- even though science has proved that germs, not wetness causes the cold, because of the association between winter dampness and having a cold (when people are more likely to be indoors and spread germs more quickly) the act of getting wet is assumed to be the 'cause' not the germs. Also, until recently, spicy foods not bacteria were thought to cause ulcers, because although spicy food can make your stomach feel bad, the food is not the real cause of ulcers. This same argument is made for HIV and AIDS -- cause and commonality is not the same thing. AIDS could be a weakened immune system worsened but not caused by HIV, and a variety of other factors could create the existence of the virus.

Another important point made by Bernstein and Duesberg is that political influence certainly has a great deal of sway, rather than hard data, in terms of which illnesses and what areas of research get more funding. Most congressmen are not scientists, and are very anxious to appease powerful lobbies rather than discover what is medically correct. Lastly, in terms of the media -- people tend to believe main media sources regarding health advice, and then only pick and choose what is comprehensible or convenient to their lifestyles, as can be seen in the ways that people pick and choose diet fads and advice. Once a paradigm of health is created, they are afraid to challenge it.

That said, however, many aspects of the deniers simply do not add up. For example, regarding Null, the least credible of the researchers (or having null credibility, one might say) if a bad mental state causes AIDS, then how does one explain the fact that children who breastfeed from AIDS affected mothers sometimes get AIDS? Duesberg or Bernstein might suggests that the infants have weakened immune syndromes, a more…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"Duesberg-on-AIDS--Cast-Out-For-An-AIDS-Heresy" 

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