Anatomy of a self-financing study for HIV-AIDS skeptics


The following theses have been put forward at various times by HIV-AIDS skeptics:

Most of these can be found in the writings of Peter Duesberg or on the Rethinking Aids Web site. For the mainstream scientific evidence against these claims and for the causative role of HIV for AIDS, compare the paper Relationship between HIV and AIDS by the National Institutes of Health.

Here I want to propose a combination of scientific study and business plan that has the following properties:


A life insurance policy for the group of people who fulfill all of the following criteria is offered.

In addition, as a condition of the insurance policy, the policy holder agrees to submit to regular thorough health examinations, the results of which form the basis for the accompanying scientific study. Furthermore, the policy holder forfeits all their rights resulting from the policy should they start to take any strong legal or illegal drugs at any time in the future without the consent of the insurer.

To make sure that the results of the study be made public, it is preferable that the to-be-created insurance company be a publicly traded company and will hence have to issue regular business reports.

The end of the study can be defined as follows:


There are many people fitting the above criteria: HIV positive sex partners of transfusion recipients or hemophiliacs or injecting drug users, HIV positive children of (sex partners of) transfusion recipients or hemophiliacs, HIV positive laboratory and health care workers and their HIV positive children.

It can be assumed that these people are eager to buy the afore mentioned policy (even for a higher than usual price) since they cannot currently get any life insurance policy without lying (and hence running the risk of forfeiting all policy benefits) and since they have an interest in providing for their immediate family.

The very fact that the insurer believes that HIV does not cause lethal disease and is even willing to bet on this belief should take care of claim 12. Indeed, it can be argued that this proposal constitutes the only possible study that cannot be attacked by claim 12 (short of not disclosing the HIV status to patients, which clearly would be unethical).

Should the medical establishment refuse to abandon the HIV-AIDS hypothesis even in the event of a positive outcome of the study, then the business part will at least have created a source of permanent income which can be used to finance further investigations. In fact, the profit of the insurance company will be higher in this case, since competitors will presumably be reluctant to adopt similar policies.

Update 16-April-1997

The New York Times reported today that "Guarantee Trust Life Insurance" from Illinois has started offering a life insurance policy to otherwise healthy HIV positive people who acquired the virus through sex or accidental needle sticks. They believe that the new AIDS drugs available turn HIV into a treatable chronic disease. Drug users are excluded from the policy because there is concern that they won't take the AIDS drug cocktails.

Since HIV skeptics don't believe that protease inhibitors can be effective against AIDS (sometimes they claim even that they are dangerous and cause AIDS symptoms), I have to modify my above challenge so that the insured persons will not be allowed to take AZT or protease inhibitors.

Last changed: 16-Apr-97
Axel Boldt <>