Saturday, November 1, 2008

HIV and "Responsible Journalism"

HIV Science and Responsible Journalism
XVI International AIDS Conference
August 13, 2006


...The reporting of AIDS denialists has highlighted some important differences in the way in which medical scientists and reporters on medical science and their respective editors perceive and assess the import and accuracy of information. Clearly both have essential roles in free societies. But at what point can scientific controversies be considered settled? What criteria should be used in judging the validity of criticisms leveled by outsiders against the scientific establishment? What are the responsibilities of medical scientists, journalists and their editors, as both scientific journal editors and editors in the lay press, in keeping the public informed on these controversies and on the progress of the epidemic...."

"...Dr. John Moore, who is a professor at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, recognized expert on HIV and who’s recent work has focused on the search for microbicides as a preventive measure for HIV infection...

...But let’s have no doubt about this — this is dangerous stuff. AIDS denialism kills. I’m going to review who they are, who they are not, how they operate, what are some of the untold stories, and what journalists need to be on the lookout for...

...Now when I say that denialism kills, thousands of South African adults and children have died of AIDS because of the flawed government policies on HIV and AIDS. Nathan will talk to you more about that, but the South African government has been heavily influenced over the past six or seven years by AIDS denialists...

...Now the AIDS denialists abuse the peer-reviewed literature. They abuse science. They cite only old, long refuted papers as if they still represented state of the art knowledge, which they don’t. So they argue that TB, malaria, leprosy, pregnancy cause false positive tests in an HIV assay.."

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