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Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy

Seeking Stories of AIDS Denialism

Have you or someone you know been harmed by AIDS Denialism? If you, or someone you care about, have been advised to stop taking HIV meds, ignore HIV test results, purchase a 'natural' cure etc., please email me.

aidsandbehavior@yahoo.com

All information will be kept confidential.

Thursday, July 10, 2014





   JULY 5, 2014
New York Times

Do Americans understand the scientific consensus about issues like climate change and evolution?

At least for a substantial portion of the public, it seems like the answer is no. The Pew Research Center, for instance, found that 33 percent of the public believes“Humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time” and 26 percent think there is not “solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades.” Unsurprisingly, beliefs on both topics are divided along religious and partisan lines. For instance, 46 percent of Republicans said there is not solid evidence of global warming, compared with 11 percent of Democrats.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Turner, Davis, Coleman & Baker

HIV-Positive Pastor Found Guilty Of Knowingly Exposing Woman To Disease

By NewsOne Staff

A Georgia jury found an HIV-positive pastor guilty Tuesday of knowingly exposing a woman to the disease and faces 20 years for the crime, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Craig Lamar Davis (pictured) was said to have sat motionless as the jury read guilty verdicts in two counts of reckless HIV, both of which are felonies. Deliberations took less than an hour. The case was the first of its kind in Clayton County, G., which falls in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

“We are pleased with the verdict,” said Kathryn Powers, deputy chief assistant district attorney, one of three prosecutors in the case, told the Journal-Constitution. “They (jury) were able to weigh the validity of testimony of people who don’t believe AIDS or HIV exist.”
The jury reached a verdict Friday, but wanted to sit on it until Tuesday.

Prosecutors said that Davis , who is now divorced, was a married minister when he had an affair with two women and did not tell either that he was HIV positive, according to CBS Atlanta. During his trial, Davis admitted that doctors diagnosed him with HIV in 2005. And while he admitted having sex with a Fulton County woman, the former pastor denied a sexual encounter with his second accuser, Ronita McAfee of Clayton County.
“As Ronita was upset, panicky, thoughts running through her mind, the defendant’s reaction was to tell her, ‘don’t worry about it. It’s not a death sentence,’” Powers said during the trail. “‘Don’t you worry about it. There is medicine you can take if you catch it early.’”

Davis’ attorney, John Turner, contended that his client never had sex with McAfee and described her as a “nutcase.”
The harsh name calling did not surprise McAfee “I didn’t not expect it,” she said. “I expected it to be said. I just stayed strong in my convictions and continuously moved forward.”
In what may have been the oddest development during the trial, an expert witness for the defense  testified during that Davis’ crack cocaine use at the time may have caused him to be misdiagnosed for HIV and that no test on the market can definitively determine is someone has the virus.

The (current HIV) test is an antibody test,” (Dr. Nancy) Banks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after her testimony. “They don’t know where those antibodies come from. They’ve never been able to isolate the virus from the protein.”
Banks, who testified on behalf of the defense, was asked to review Davis’ medical records during the time he was alleged to have been diagnosed with the virus. On Thursday, Davis said during his testimony he had used crack cocaine.
“When I looked at the admission history and his physical exam (records), I didn’t think he had a very good history,” Banks said. “The doctor neglected to ask him pertinent questions.”
“What questions?” Baron Coleman, an attorney working with the defense, asked.
“Drug use,” Banks said, noting that crack users often develop symptoms such as thrush and certain types of pneumonia that mimic the HIV virus.
“When people smoke crack cocaine, they can develop crack lung,” Banks said. “His (Davis) X-ray was consistent with that.” She noted that the pneumosistis, a pneumonia often associated with HIV, is usually detected post-mortem. She also said that thrush, a yeast condition also associated with HIV and AIDS, is a side-effect of cocaine use."

The prosecution balked at the argument.

McAfee, 38, says she has consistently tested negative for the virus that causes AIDS, but the Clayton County woman tested positive a a year after her relationship with Davis began.
Now Davis has to defend himself against a similar case in Fulton county. He is set to be sentenced for his conviction from the Clayton County case in February

Read more!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

GUILTY: AIDS Denialism is a Dumb Defense

By Tammy Joyner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Clayton County jury found a Stone Mountain man guilty Tuesday of knowingly exposing a woman to HIV.
Craig Lamar Davis, 43, sat motionless in a packed courtroom as the jury read guilty verdicts in two counts of reckless HIV, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Davis was taken into custody. Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Feb. 21.
Shortly before being taken into custody, Davis comforted family members, some of whom were crying.
The case is the first of its kind to be tried in Clayton County, prosecutors said after the trial.
“We are pleased with the verdict,” said Kathryn Powers, deputy chief assistant district attorney, one of three prosecutors in the case. “They (jury) were able to weigh the validity of testimony of people who don’t believe AIDS or HIV exist.” Powers also noted the jury’s verdict sends a strong message that it is incumbent that people infected with the virus notify people of their status.
James Walker, the attorney for the woman whose allegations led to the case, said he hoped the verdict “will give others the courage and fortitude to bring these types of individuals to justice.”
District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said Tuesday’s verdict sets the stage for a similar case against Davis in Fulton County. The defense conceded Tuesday’s decision could make it tough to try the same case in Fulton.
“It’s hard to override 30-plus years of HIV prejudice and hysteria,” John Turner, Davis’ attorney said. “The (Clayton) jury’s decision reflects that. We clearly established reasons to question the results of (HIV testing). We handed them reasonable doubt on a platter but they chose to disregard it.”
The verdict ended a week of testimony from medical professionals and other witnesses, including a California nonprofit that refutes HIV testing. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice flew in experts at its own expense to help in Davis’ defense.
“I’m just disappointed by the verdict,” OMSJ director Clark Baker said. He said his organization is considering filing claims against the doctors, hospitals and others who Baker believes misdiagnosed Davis since HIV tests on the market state they can not be used to definitively detect HIV.

Read more!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lawyer Baron Coleman and His Court Jesters


Clayton County jury returns Tuesday to deliberate HIV case


By Kathy Jefcoats
kjefcoats@news-daily.com


JONESBORO — Prosecutors said Friday it’s “absurd” to believe a woman would knowingly have sex with a man who is HIV-positive but defense attorneys called the woman a liar.
“(She) lied,” said defense attorney John Turner. “She said they knew mutual acquaintances and that he pressure-washed her car. That’s a lie. If she lied about that, she could have lied about everything else.”
Turner represents Craig Lamar Davis, 43, charged with two counts of reckless conduct by an HIV-infected person. He was married and led the men’s ministry at an Atlanta church, leading some to refer to him as a pastor. Prosecutors allege Davis had unprotected physical relations with a woman at his Jonesboro home without disclosing he is HIV-positive.
Davis is also charged in Fulton County with the same charges involving a second woman. That woman testified in the state’s case and the jury is allowed to consider her account as they deliberate Davis’ fate.
Turner and co-counsel Baron Coleman of Alabama, and prosecutors Erman Tanjuatco, Katie Powers and Marcus Thorpe completed their cases by Friday and closing arguments began at 1:15 p.m. Neither woman is being identified by Clayton News Daily because they are considered victims of alleged sexual assaults.
The jury got the case after 5 p.m. Friday but returned to Judge Geronda Carter’s courtroom an hour later to say they wanted to stop deliberations and resume them Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Court is dark Monday because of the King holiday.
Before the short deliberation, jurors heard one last time from the attorneys. Because the burden is on the state to prove the charges, Tanjuatco and Powers spoke first and last with Turner and Coleman addressing the panel in between the two.
“The defense is absurd,” said Powers, who went first. “It’s smoke and mirrors.”
Powers said the case comes down to a battle of the experts. The state presented Davis’ treating physicians, infectious disease expert Joyce Drayton of Decatur, and Courtney Shelton. Both doctors told Davis he was HIV-positive in 2004 and 2005 and prescribed HIV medications for him.
Drayton testified that Davis had full-blown AIDS in 2005 when he presented at Atlanta Medical Center with thrush and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, known as PCP, an infection commonly found in patients with AIDS.
Drayton also testified that she counseled Davis on taking care of himself and preventing the spread of the virus to others. In fact, Davis brought another woman he had infected to Drayton’s office for treatment, the doctor testified.
Turner and Coleman brought in three experts, all considered “AIDS denialists” associated with Office of Medical and Scientific Justice. The group believes the HIV and AIDS viruses don’t exist and works to exonerate defendants accused of criminally exposing others to HIV. All three underwent a scathing cross-examination by Powers, who got them to admit they never examined or interviewed Davis and reached their conclusions based on incomplete documents provided by the defense attorneys.
One of the experts, Dr. Nancy Turner Banks, admitted she thinks AIDS is an “imaginary monster” that can be defeated if patients are emotionally balanced and drink water and eat cilantro. Banks also testified that HIV is not sexually-transmitted, a position backed by David Rasnick, who took the stand after Banks.


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Friday, January 17, 2014


HIV deniers play part in Atlanta bareback case

Project Q Atlanta
By Matt Hennie | Jan 16, 2014 | 12:44 PM
It's tough to tell what's worse in a metro Atlanta case criminalizing HIV: a prosecutor comparing the disease to a deadly weapon, the accused man arguing his HIV status can't be proven or HIV deniers spouting their junk science.

The trial of Craig Lamar Davis opened on Monday in a Clayton County court and quickly turned into a three-ring circus. Davis faces two counts of failing to disclose his HIV status before having sex, which is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Gay and HIV activists criticize the law, saying it prevents people from getting tested and further stigmatizes people with the disease. Prosecutors say Davis, 42, had sex with two women, didn't use condoms and exposed them to HIV.
But the case has put people with HIV and the tests used to detect the virus on trial as much as Davis.
A prosecutor overreached in his opening statement, going all weapons of mass destruction.
“When he wakes up in the morning, he has it with him. When he eats lunch, he has it with him. When he goes to bed at night he carries it with him,” Clayton County Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Powers told a jury Tuesday. “Unlike the deadly weapons you can see - like a gun, knife or a bomb, this deadly weapon is something people have to rely on the defendant to tell them about.”
Davis has done his part, too, casting doubt on whether he's really HIV-positive, despite writing exactly that on jail intake forms after an arrest in 2009. Doctors diagnosed him as HIV-positive in 2005, according to prosecutors.
"Upon what my attorney just said, I would say no," Davis says in response to a reporter's question about whether he's HIV-positive. Watch his cofounding statements in the clip above.
His attorney, John Turner, weighed in. You know, to say that HIV tests are bunk.
Defense attorney John Turner told the jury not to be swayed by the state’s dramatic opening. Stick to the facts and the fact is, Turner said. ”There is no definitive test - scientific or medical for (the detection) of HIV. No such thing.”
So you say? Uh-huh. Where'd the notion come from? You can thank the HIV deniers of Los Angeles-based Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, which has inserted itself into Davis' case. Say what you want about whether bareback sex should result in criminal charges, but to argue that HIV doesn't really exist and tests that prove its existence are junk science is, well, a bit of junk science on its own.
“We expect this case will corroborate what we’ve found in all of our other cases … and that is the testing, diagnosis and treatment of HIV in this country is wildly inaccurate and inflated and incompetent,” Baker said.
The gay panic defense has gone mostly away, only to be replaced with an equally offensive HIV deniers defense. Oh sweet progress.

Read more!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tommy Morrison Died Tragically of Denial


By Tom Friend | ESPN.com
Tommy Morrison died Sunday night of an undisclosed illness. But for all intents and purposes, he died of denial.
In 1996, Morrison was diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In 1997, he told me he was still having unprotected sex with his first wife.
"I'll trust an attorney before I'll trust a doctor," he said.
I'm not sure how many wives he ended up with (I lost count after the fourth), but nothing ever changed. His last wife, Trisha, recently told ESPN.com's Elizabeth Merrill that they, too, had had unprotected sex. As far as Tommy was concerned, his HIV never existed. He searched high and low for rogue doctors who would assure him he was fine, who would clear him to go back to boxing. He was nothing without boxing, nothing without sex -- so he looked the other way.
He tried AZT for a month and threw it in the trash; he thought the HIV therapy drug taken by most HIV patients was propoganda. His family staged an intervention to get him back on meds, but he cursed at them and said, "I will lay down and die before I take any drugs." Magic Johnson tried to reach out to him in 1996 -- the same Magic Johnson who is thriving 22 years after his own HIV diagnosis -- and Tommy Morrison plum ignored him.
"I remember talking to Magic the day I announced I had HIV," Morrison told me in 1998. "He was preaching, 'Do what your doctor tells you.' Well, I didn't have a doctor then, so I got down on my knees and I prayed. Every day, I was like, 'God, what do I do?' Hell, I saw myself dying. And then I started getting all these books in the mail, and they all said, 'Don't worry about it. Just live your life.' So that's what I did."

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rethinking AIDS Denialism: Former Boxing Champ Tommy Morrison



Tommy Morrison's


 latest big fight


Former heavyweight contender

 has waged battles inside and 

outside the ring

In a house on the edge of a dead-end road, an old woman waits for her son to die. The call will come any day now, she says, and when it does, she wants her youngest boy to be buried in Sulphur Springs, Ark., with the rest of the family. She dreads and hopes for this call, if that makes any sense. Only none of it makes sense.

Diana Morrison crushes a Pall Mall, lights another and dissects her son's fate. She's matter-of-fact about it, barely emotional, perhaps because Tommy Morrison, former World Boxing Organization champion, former HIV cautionary tale, has stared at death before. But this time it's different.
Morrison with David Syner,
Producer of AIDS Denialist
 film "House of Numbers"

She says he has full-blown AIDS. She believes he's in his final days. His skin is jaundiced; his liver is failing. "He's too far gone," she says, flashing an incredulous look when asked whether he could recover. "He's in the end stages. That's it." She says Morrison has been bedridden for a year, can't speak and is being kept alive with the help of a feeding tube and a ventilator.


UPDATE
Tommy Morrison passed away Sept. 2 2013

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

AIDS Denier Clark Baker Needs a Real Job


HIV Denialist’s Suit Against Blogger Should Be Tossed, Sperlein Says

By Rhett Pardon, SAN FRANCISCO
Adult industry attorney Gill Sperleinfiled court papers Friday on behalf of Todd DeShong, a blogger accused of trademark infringement and defamation relating to his criticism of notorious AIDS denialist Clark Baker and his organization the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice (OMSJ). 


Baker believes the pharmaceutical industry promotes faulty HIV tests in order to sell HIV-suppressing drugs; DeShong, meanwhile, believes early HIV testing and treatment saves lives.

But the importance of accurate testing is well known in the adult entertainment industry, Sperlein said.

According to court documents, Baker first attempted to shut down DeShong’s website HIVInnocenceGroupTruth.com by filing a UDRP complaint, accusing DeShong of infringing the trademark “HIV Innocence Group.”

The UDRP arbitrator disagreed, ruling that OMSJ was actually guilty of reverse domain name high jacking because OMSJ clearly knew DeShong was legitimately using the mark when it filed its complaint, Sperlein said.

Undeterred, Baker and OMSJ sued DeShong in federal court for trademark infringement, defamation, and business disparagement.

But Sperlein and a team of attorneys came to DeShong’s defense filing two separate motions to dismiss Friday, arguing that the trademark claims should be dismissed because DeShong’s use of the mark was fair use and the defamation related claims should be dismissed because DeShong’s statements were either opinion or factually accurate.

Sperlein also argued that the claims were brought after the statute of limitations had passed.

DeShong’s pro bono defense team also includes another industry attorney, Gary Krupkin, who serves as local counsel; Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen; and Neal A. Hoffman of the Houston firm Bush & Ramirez.

Read more!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

David Rasnick for the Defense: How AIDS Denialists Help Prove You Are Insane




Updated: Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 6:41 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 28 Jun 2013, 7:14 AM EDT

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) - A New York drug dealer imprisoned in the 1990s amid accusations he infected 13 young women with HIV lost his bid for freedom Friday despite having completed his sentence more than two years ago.
A jury in western New York found that Nushawn Williams, 36, suffers from a mental abnormality that makes him subject to "civil management" and will either be confined to a secure treatment facility or kept under strict supervision, according to the attorney general's office.
"With this determination, Mr. Williams will get the treatment he needs and the citizens of New York will be safer," said Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The Chautauqua County jury deliberated for just over an hour. A hearing will be held to determine Williams' level of management.
Williams, who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson, completed a 12-year sentence for statutory rape and reckless endangerment in 2010.
But state officials sought his continued imprisonment and described him as a mentally disturbed, sex-obsessed drug user likely to infect more women if set free. A psychologist's report said Williams targeted vulnerable young women who were underage and/or drug addicted and "used charm and coercion to secure sexual contact."
Before the trial's start, Williams' lawyer John Nuchereno claimed that a new test showed that Williams isn't HIV positive. Nuchereno argued that without HIV, Williams is not a danger and should be freed.

Read more!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Something Stinks in Buffalo: AIDS Denialism and The Case of Nushawn Williams


 
June 8, 2013

Nushawn Williams, the Jamestown man who gained national notoriety when accused of spreading the virus that causes AIDS, remains behind bars more than 15 years after his criminal offenses in Chautauqua County.
But when a 20-year-old Buffalo man admitted in 2011 to having unprotected sex with four young women and a 15-year-old girl while knowing he was infected with HIV, he was sentenced to a year in jail for his crimes.
“It was similar enough to say, ‘My God, the treatment was so different,’ ” said John R. Nuchereno, defense attorney for Williams.
Williams, now 36, was supposed to be freed in 2010, upon completing a 12-year sentence for a statutory rape and reckless endangerment conviction.
Yet, three years later, he remains in Wende State Correctional Facility because the state attorney general contends Williams is a sexual predator likely to infect others with HIV.
The trial, while not open to the public, is expected to draw plenty of interest, both from civil liberties groups troubled by the state’s civil confinement policy and from various HIV and AIDS organizations intrigued by the potential legal impacts of the case.
Nuchereno already has made the stunning claim in a pretrial hearing that Williams does not have HIV, based on a recent electron microscope analysis of his blood by the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
The contention appears likely to be a crux of Williams’ defense, which is being aided by the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, a nonprofit organization based in Studio City, Calif.
The group runs the HIV Innocence Project and has used electron microscopy results in military trials to help defend soldiers accused of transmitting the virus to sexual partners.
G. Baron Coleman, an Alabama lawyer connected with the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice who has represented several soldiers, is expected to assist Nuchereno in at least a portion of his defense of Williams.
Lawyers from the Attorney General’s Office questioned the legitimacy of the electron microscope test and asked State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to allow them to do their own analysis of Williams’ blood.
Rules of law prohibited Michalski from agreeing to the request.
But several medical professionals and HIV experts contacted by The News said the electron microscope was not an accepted method for finding HIV or for monitoring a patient infected with the virus.
“Electron microscopy is not, never has been and never will be an appropriate, relevant or approved way to detect HIV in the blood. Indeed, it’s beyond silly suggesting it could, would or should be used for this purpose,” said John Moore, professor of microbiology and immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
‘A little bit out of left field’
Williams’ blood was analyzed in April by Gregory M. Hendricks, manager of the Core Electron Microscopy Facility at the UMass Medical School, who found “no evidence” of HIV, according to a letter he sent to the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice.
Dr. Joseph S. Cervia, clinical professor of medicine and pediatrics at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, noted that blood tests screening for the presence of HIV antibodies have been used reliably for years to determine whether someone has HIV.
HIV, AIDS ‘denialists’
Seth Kalichman, an HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment researcher, expressed concern that the startling legal strategy in the Williams case will mislead people about accepted science with regard to diagnosing and treating HIV.
The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice and its executive director, Clark Baker, are HIV and AIDS denialists, Kalichman said.
And he said their efforts are potentially damaging to public health.
“They have no credibility. They’re not really scientists at all,” Kalichman said.
The organization has become adept at trying to manipulate juries in court-martial cases by raising suspicions about HIV tests and the influence of big pharmaceutical companies, he said.
And that’s potentially destructive, because some people who test HIV positive can’t deal with the reality and will seek out the misinformation put out by AIDS denialists as a source of comfort, said Kalichman.
“These guys provide them with a way out,” he said. “There have been people who have died because they listened to these people.”

Read more!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Legal System Turned Upside Down: Defining, Diagnosing, and Denying HIV

Nushawn Williams. Remember him? In 1999 Williams was convicted as a sexual predator in New York State; Guilty of rape and reckless endangerment. Williams is HIV infected and he infected his victims, including a 13 year old.

It looks like Clark Baker and his AIDS Denialist crew of medical mischief and pseudoscientific scams have come to rescue Nushawn Williams, who now claims that he is not HIV infected. Williams may have tested HIV positive, but the tests were, of course, invalid.

New tests ordered by the defense, with what appears to be consultation from Clark Baker, uses an AIDS denialist favorite scheme -- electron micrographs.

For an AIDS Denialist, the only proof that HIV exists would be an image of the ‘pure virus’. AIDS Deniers refute science that relies on combinations of antibody/antigen/PCR testing to diagnose HIV. They also, by the way, refute images of HIV because they are not ‘pure virus’.

While in prison, Williams had been receiving treatment for his HIV infection. Successful treatment leads to viral suppression, making it very hard to get an image of the virus.

This is the new tactic of AIDS Deniers Clark Baker and David Rasnick. They have been using services of The Core Electron Microscopy Facility at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. A cell biologist named Gregory Hendricks has been running these tests in cases that employ Baker and Rasnick.

Read more!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Conspiracy Theories, AIDS Denialism, Holocaust Denial, and Dr. Nancy Banks

Just as we were getting bored with the same old (elderly white male) AIDS Deniers, enter Dr. Nancy Banks. Claiming to have a medical degree from Harvard, Dr. Banks has been recruited into Clark Baker’s AIDS denialism legal team. She is one of his star witnesses for his Office of Medical and Scientific Justice. Banks is an ‘expert’ witness in Military cases, where Clark Baker has actually found an attorney dim enough to employ his services.

What I like most about Nancy Banks is that she illustrates something we have known for years… AIDS Denialists and Holocaust Deniers are nuts in the same shell. In the case of Nancy Banks, she is one nut that has it all – conspiracy theories, AIDS denial, and Holocaust denial. Below is an essay that sheds light on Nancy Banks. I have agreed not to name of the author to evade Clark Baker’s harassment.

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