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The human tragedy of denying AIDS

Since the discovery of HIV and the ensuing AIDS epidemic, a frightening group of people has spread destructive misinformation and outright denials - about the virus. Seth Kalichman, editor of the journal AIDS and Behavior, debunks these dangerous myths in the new book Denying AIDS, published by Springer. Denying AIDS captures the contradictions inherent in AIDS denialism and exposes the scientific and sociopolitical forces involved in AIDS denial.

Kalichman writes about the organized, extensive forms of denial, the junk science, faulty logic, conspiracy theories, and larger forces of homophobia and racism that fuel this misinformation and pose a real threat to understanding AIDS. Denying AIDS traces the origins of AIDS denialists from the early days of the outbreak and examines the psychology and politics of the current denial movement. Topics covered include:

  • Why AIDS denialism endures, and why science must understand it.
  • Pioneer virus researcher Peter Duesberg's role in AIDS denialism.
  • Flawed immunological, virological, and pharmacological pseudoscience studies that are central to texts of denialism.
  • The social conservative agenda and the politics of AIDS denial, from the courts to the White House.
  • The impact of HIV misinformation on public health in South Africa.
  • Fighting fiction with reality: anti-denialism and the scientific community.

Kalichman has dedicated his research to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and caring for those affected by the HIV epidemic. His research has focused on the southern United States and South Africa. His work has been continuously and exclusively funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1992. He was previously on the faculties of Loyola University of Chicago, Georgia State University, and the Medical College of Wisconsin where he worked under the direction of Jeffrey A. Kelly to help establish the Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR). He is currently the director of the Southeast HIV and AIDS Research and Evaluation (SHARE) Project, a research program within the AIDS Survival Project in Atlanta, Georgia. Professor Kalichman serves on NIH grant review panels, has over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, and has authored and edited five books in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services, including Positive Prevention, published by Springer. He is also the current editor of the bimonthly journal AIDS and Behavior. Professor Kalichman was the recipient of the 1997 Early Career Award in Health Psychology from the American Psychological Association and the 2005 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for Behavioral Medicine.


Contact: Joan Robinson

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