In this exclusive clip from House of Numbers, amFAR* founder, Dr. Joseph Sonnabend talks about his split with the group over their “scam” of the American public – the invention of “Heterosexual AIDS.”
(* amFAR – the American Foundation for AIDS research. Their happy slogan is “40 million infected, none cured.” They don’t mention that “infected” really means “HIV positive,” which, after examining HIV testing technology and practice, practically means nothing, except “living in poverty.”)
And Dr. James Redfield, Director Clinical Care and Research, Institute of Human Virology, lets us in on the early public relations decision that framed “AIDS” as an equal-opportunity sex disease in the mind of the generally uninterested, easily-frightened, happy-to-be-manipulated American public – and now in the world at large.
Watch and weep – and learn.
Director Brent Leung: Did you leave amFAR or did you [and Mathilde Krim, the then assistant director] have a falling out?
Jospeh Sonnabend (co-founder amFAR): Well, I left and then we had a falling out. And the reason I left was that I thought it was my show. And then one day I came to the office and it was one of the networks who had received a press release from us. (And first of all, I was amazed that anything came from us without me knowing about it).
And the press release said that ‘heterosexual AIDS is about to happen’ and that straight men are gonna drop in droves, and I said something like, “That’s bullshit, where did you get that from?” And then I went to Terry Beirn, (that was the publicist I hired who was in the room). And I said, “What the hell is going on?” And he said, “Oh, yeah, we’ve been working on this.”
They never told me! And it was a total fraud and scam. It was a fund-raising ploy, but so efficient that it resulted in a Time, a Life magazine cover, which said “No one is safe from AIDS.” And Reader’s Digest – and they know how to do this things – put stories all over the place.
And I called Mathlide [Krim] and I said, “What the hell are you doing? You don’t have any evidence that this is happening! And you’re going to freak out straight guys!” And I’m going to have to take whatever… and indeed I did – I remember a man calling me and said he was with a prostitute three months before. “My daughter drank out of the same glass as me, is she going to be alright?”
I mean, things like that started to happen. And then, I said, “The next thing you’re going to do is to cause violence against gay men.” Because…the only…there were drug addicts and things.. but there were a sub-section of gay men who you could look at and say, they’re gay, and, you know, just a sub-section – and they would be the targets of violence. And I said “that’s what’s going to happen.” And it did happen.
And I said, I can’t be associated with this…I have no control…this is a terrible thing to be doing. And then I had a falling out with her. I was really pissed off, really, I thought it was terrible.
Joseph Sonnabend: Interestingly enough, years later I had a meeting with them over some other issue, and Terry Burn, we reminisced over this; would have been four or five years later. And he said, you know, “if we had to do it again, I’d do it again.”
Because once he put out this scare, the money started to flow, when he did. And all of a sudden, AIDS was a very fundable project. And I suppose the psychology they worked on was the fact that they thought, ‘well, in Congress, essentially these white, straight, heterosexual men, you know, congressmen, and If they feel they can’t fuck around without being worried about AIDS, then they’re going to let the dollars out.’
And it worked.
Director Brent Leung: Isn’t that ethically wrong, to scare an entire population?
Joseph Sonnabend: What do you think? Listen, you live in this world, you know that’s exactly what they do!
Robert Redfield, MD
Director Clinical Care and Research
Institute of Human Virology
Dr. Redfield: At the first AIDS meeting, Life magazine decided to do a cover story. And I think if you remember, I have a copy of it. But it was the first major magazine to do a story on AIDS. Life Magazine. And Ed Barnes, if I remember, was the author. And I worked with Ed, because I really thought Ed was going to do a good magazine.
And the title of the magazine was going to be “The new faces of AIDS.” [showing magazine to camera] These are my patients…a number of…this gentleman, and this family, I actually started a foundation with. And this young girl is from GW.
But this whole thing was not supposed to be, “Now no one is safe from AIDS.” It was supposed to be “The new faces of AIDS” – a soldier, a family a woman. That was the purpose. So this article didn’t do what I wanted it to do at all! I was very angry.
Apparently, and I don’t know much about this, they market the covers of magazines in different areas. And the cover “The new faces of AIDS,” didn’t do as well as the cover “No one is safe from AIDS.”
So now this new article which is supposed to get people to embrace the AIDS epidemic and all its new faces – most people never even read the article. They just saw the cover. “No one’s safe from AIDS.”
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Also in the video, see researcher Mark Conlan discuss the 1996 Wall Street Journal article which exposed the fraud: “AIDS Fight is Skewed by Federal Campaign Exaggerating Risks.” Journalist Celia Farber discusses the public relations motive of the AIDS industry.
– August 2000, Mathilde Krim awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton
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The deluxe edition Special Features include:
Extended Interview Clips
24 Featurettes, including:
- HIV Testing 101
- The History and Evolution of HIV Testing
- The Morphing Fine Print of HIV Test Package Inserts
- The Changing Criteria of Western Blot Testing
- False Positives: Causes and Factors
- Deciphering Test Results for False Positives
- Examining the “Gold Standard” for HIV Diagnostic Tests
- HIV Testing in High Risk Versus Low Risk Populations
- HIV Testing Campaigns