Category Archives: The Stigma

For Gay Men, Even HIV Negative is HIV Positive

Below please find my 2003 interview with Dr. Dan Cohen, M.D. of Boston’s Fenway HIV/AIDS Clinic. (The interview was part of my research for The AIDS Debate series). You don’t have to guess where the clinic us located – no, not in Newton or Wellesley, home to the beautiful (straight) people. Yes, the clinic sits at the gateway to the beautiful and gentrified South End where a majority of young, urban, successful, working gay men make their homes and living.

The images you see interspersed are not parody ads created for this post – this is the face of Fenway Health’s public relations outreach/propaganda for its community. Talk about targeting a population….

Liam Scheff: What’s the process at the Fenway when someone tests positive for HIV?

Dr. Cohen: When someone is tested positive, they get counseling before and after, regarding the test process, they’re counseled regarding the possibility of getting a false negative when they’re really HIV infected.

Liam Scheff: How do they get a false negative?

Dr. Cohen: The HIV test is testing for antibodies, not for the presence of the HIV virus itself.

Liam Scheff: How does that equal a false negative? Continue reading For Gay Men, Even HIV Negative is HIV Positive

Exclusive: AIDS in Uganda – Malaria and Suicide

by Ricci Davis

Independent investigator Ricci Davis interviews Bright, a Ugandan man whose brother-in-law was diagnosed with AIDS, and the tragedy that ensued. Davis uncovers the confusion regarding believed rates of official “transmission,” a lack of HIV testing in AIDS cases, and the nature of illness called AIDS – i.e. malaria and endemic diseases of poverty, plus starvation, medical neglect, and suicide.

Watch the Video

Question – Davis: Is it true that all families in Uganda have lost somebody to AIDS?

Answer – Bright: Not all families. Not all families, but most of them…like, uh…90% have at least lost somebody.

Davis: And do those families tend to be poor or…?

Bright: Poor? Yeah, especially those in the rural areas. But there are also… some rich people have also died.

Davis: Have you had a personal loss within your family…to someone with AIDS?

Bright: I lost a sister, I told you and my in-law, the husband to my sister. That was in 1999.

Davis: What happened exactly? Continue reading Exclusive: AIDS in Uganda – Malaria and Suicide

HIV Testing in Uganda – In the Clinic

by Ricci Davis.

Ricci Davis, independent investigator, interviews a worker in an HIV test clinic in Kampala, Uganda (2009). Watch the Video

Text (Ricci Davis):  I’ve just stepped into my local clinic in Kampala to inquire about the perceived accuracy of HIV antibody tests.

Davis:  So how accurate are these?

A: How?

Davis: How accurate is this test

A: They’re accurate.   They’re accurate.

Davis: How do you know?

A: I know ’cause I’ve used them.  Use them in less than ten minutes.  You have the results. Continue reading HIV Testing in Uganda – In the Clinic

AIDS Industry Scores a Win: Fear, Shame and Guilt Taint Once Happy Practices of Chinese Prostitution

by Liam Scheff

From China, home of the current push in the ‘scare people to death with the AIDS diagnosis‘ racket:

Many of them who have symptoms live in a self-imposed exile, avoiding family members and public places because they are afraid of spreading the disease.

“I joined the chat room because I was sure I had been infected with this virus,” one patient said. He said he started to feel ill several months ago after a visit to a prostitute where he said he took precautions to avoid catching HIV.

“Twenty-four hours later I had a strong desire to vomit. I had headaches, I was dizzy, I could feel my internal organs were swelling up. I was in intense pain. This lasted months.”

Clearly the man had…you know… “it.” Right? I mean, aren’t those the symptoms? Immediate thoughts of death and intense pain after sex?

(No…not really. There are no specific symptoms). Anyway, turns out he tested negative. Continue reading AIDS Industry Scores a Win: Fear, Shame and Guilt Taint Once Happy Practices of Chinese Prostitution

AmFAR Propaganda: Young, Black and Beautiful = AIDS

by Liam Scheff

The inherent racism of the AIDS paradigm is on display in AmFAR’s advertisements for invisible and insidious waiting death, among the young, dark-skinned and beautiful:

  • This good-looking young man is strong and handsome beyond belief. But, says AmFAR, he’s probably going to get AIDS. Why? Because he’s just too damn black not to:

Amfar - handsome and black 2

Continue reading AmFAR Propaganda: Young, Black and Beautiful = AIDS

Lifelong AIDS Alliance’s Symbol

What does it mean?

On the surface, it simply appears to be two red ribbons connected seamlessly to each other.

But what well-known symbol does the joining of the red ribbons create? The infinity symbol. We’ve moved beyond ‘lifelong’ into forever. AIDS forever?

The diagnosis itself is considered irreversible. Perhaps that’s what LAA is telling us. A “positive” diagnosis is forever. There is no escape from it. No healing from it. No hope.

Taking a look at this image in a slightly different way, it looks like a mask. A red mask. It looks angry, malevolent.

What is LAA trying to tell us through it’s symbol? Is it an uplifting symbol? Does it make you feel good when you see it? Does it give you hope?

The Science of Voodoo: When Mind Attacks Body

RTB: This article details the physical consequences of a curse, medical or social, on the human psyche and body. This is how the AIDS diagnosis works, and why it must be reduced in severity.

New Scientist
13 May 2009
by Helen Pilcher

Late one night in a small Alabama cemetery, Vance Vanders had a run-in with the local witch doctor, who wafted a bottle of unpleasant-smelling liquid in front of his face, and told him he was about to die and that no one could save him.

Back home, Vanders took to his bed and began to deteriorate. Some weeks later, emaciated and near death, he was admitted to the local hospital, where doctors were unable to find a cause for his symptoms or slow his decline. Only then did his wife tell one of the doctors, Drayton Doherty, of the hex.
Continue reading The Science of Voodoo: When Mind Attacks Body

A Snake in Your Pocket

RTB: This 1995 book looks at the stigma of the HIV diagnosis, and the terror placed on sexual contact by the AIDS industry, despite what AIDS studies actually report about Sex and AIDS.

HIV-Negative: How the Uninfected Are Affected by AIDS
Chapter 8
A Snake in Your Pocket
Claude Dupont

I DON’T THINK gay men are doomed. I think the majority will survive AIDS. But I don’t think I will survive it. Continue reading A Snake in Your Pocket

Does The New York Times Want to Kill Gay Men?

RTB: The New York Times, NIH and World Health Organization conspire to drug the third world – and gay men in the U.S. with AIDS drugs – when they are healthy…andHIV negative.

by Liam Scheff
GNN May 25, 2006

AIDS drugs for HIV negatives: the dangerous new trend in AIDS medicine

Viread: the feel-good drug

Continue reading Does The New York Times Want to Kill Gay Men?

Driven to Suicide by Stigma of HIV

RTB: Reduce the burden of the diagnosis, remove the stigma. Here is the stigma in action.


A 15-year-old Indian boy, Santosh Baniya whose parents were diagnosed with HIV was driven to suicide because of the stigma associated with the disease.

Santosh Baniya succumbed to his burn injuries after he set himself on fire in Ahmedabad last week.

The boy’s parents, both vegetable sellers, had been diagnosed with HIV two years ago. Investigations have suggested that Santosh Baniya feared surviving his parents as well as being ostracised once the knowledge of his parents condition became public knowledge.

A police spokesman said, “He was mentally tormented as he could not face the humiliation owing to both his parents being HIV-positive.”

Reports of the boy skipping school after his parents were diagnosed with HIV came to light during investigations.

In May a United Nations report in May had estimated tha India had overtaken South Africa as the country with most people with HIV, although this has been disputed by Indian authorities who state that the number infected was only 5.2 million as against the the UN figure of 5.7 million sufferers.

In India people with HIV and Aids often face discrimination, including being ostracised and denied access to schools and hospitals.

Families of HIV Patients Ostracised

RTB: The major media practices “sympathetic” scientific racism. The BBC discuss the deadly stigma and burden of the HIV diagnosis, without examining or investigating the actual basis for the diagnosis – the non-specific, over-reaching and over-stated HIV Test result.

BBC News
Monday, 15 October 2007
By Amarnath Tewary


Rabinder Paswan and his wife Rupa Devi

Rabinder Paswan spends all his time at home after he was infected (Photos: Prashant Ravi) Continue reading Families of HIV Patients Ostracised

This Positive Life: An Interview With Damaries Cruz

RTB: This lovely woman was given the HIV Positive diagnosis in 1991. Her status and treatment: Holistic, Essential Nutrients, No Drugs, Healthy.

How long did it take you to go see a doctor?

I went at the beginning, and then after that I didn’t go. I take care of myself now, but I kind of block some of the time out, so I cannot pinpoint if I used to go all the time. Then I moved to New York. When I was there I saw a doctor for a little bit, but that was it.

Damaries Cruz

Damaries Cruz

When did you start treatment?

Actually, I’m not on treatment.

You never took treatment?


Wow. Continue reading This Positive Life: An Interview With Damaries Cruz

HIV-Affected Woman Faces Social Ostracism

RTB: What is the fate of people given an irrevocable, fatal diagnosis? A diagnosis that itself is too hard, too deterministic, and is based on poly-reactive testing technology, which is misused to give this same diagnosis.

The Hindu

Kendrapara (Orissa), Aug 5 Making a mockery of the campaigns to educate public about AIDS, villagers at Baulokani here have boycotted a HIV-infected woman under the notion that the dreaded disease is air-borne.

Continue reading HIV-Affected Woman Faces Social Ostracism

Senator Opposes HIV Testing for Pregnant Women

RTB: The media reports on a controversy in HIV testing – but it’s a false controversy, that does highlight the reactive – but uncritical – stance of AIDS activists against homophobia.

The reporter and editors imagine they’re reporting on an issue of religious intolerance and sexual bigotry; the editorial position is in favor of testing and drugging mother and infant, and they use the problem of homophobia to create support for the AIDS paradigm. “Pro-AIDS” becomes a de facto “Pro-Gay” position.

What would happen if they asked the question: What do HIV tests actually test for? What do they actually diagnose? And what burden are we placing on individuals who “test positive” on a poly-reactive test? What are the consequences of AZT and Nevirapine in Utero?

These questions are ignored and actively suppressed by the mainstream media, and in Senate discussion.

.  .  .  .  .

DENVER—The Senate backed a bill promoting HIV testing for pregnant women Wednesday over the objection of a lone senator who said the state shouldn’t protect people from the consequences of their “unacceptable behavior.” Continue reading Senator Opposes HIV Testing for Pregnant Women