Debunking House of Numbers
In the early days of the AIDS epidemic many bizarre and dangerous ideas were advanced regarding the origin of the disease and its cause. Since the discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) these conspiracy theories, which once filled the void left by the lack of information, have all but vanished. Over the past three decades HIV has been the subject of intense scientific research which has resulted in effective treatments, rapid HIV tests, and promising cures.
Yet unbelievably there are a small number of people who are sceptical of the “official story”. Although these people are small in numbers they are extremely well funded and can pose a very real threat to public health. Many have chosen to spend their money on spreading their harmful theories, defend people who have irresponsibly infected their partners, and funded the documentary House of Numbers.
The documentary consists of interviews with scientists and AIDS denialists discussing the link between HIV and AIDS, the severity of AIDS in South Africa and, unbelievably, whether or not HIV exists at all. Brent Leung (the director, producer, and star) claims that the documentary gives an “objective examination of the idea the HIV causes AIDS” but nothing could be further from the truth in this sneakily edited piece of propaganda.
The documentary encourages people to come off their medication, tells them that HIV tests don’t work, and that anti-viral drugs such as AZT are the real cause of AIDS. To do this the makers of the documentary make liberal use of out-of-context quotations from scientists interviewed for the film, deceitful editing techniques, and flat-out lies.
After viewing it myself, and realising how the movie tried to mislead viewers, I made a series of videos debunking several of the claims it made.
Debunking House of Numbers – Full Video
AIDS Denialism………Yep That’s a Thing – Australian Skeptics National Convention 2015
In my talk I discuss some examples of the dangerous assertions in the documentary and explain how they have led to the death and suffering of hundreds of thousands of people. I will also talk about the failure of the DMCA and how it can be exploited by the proponents of pseudoscience.
Aids Denialists File DMCAs Against Me
In an attempt to silence me during the making of my video Martin Penny of Knowledge Matters and Liam Scheff filed DMCAs against me.