Nicoli Nattrass is director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit at the University of Cape Town and visiting professor at Yale University. Her earlier research helped change South African AIDS policy and her new book, The AIDS Conspiracy: Science Fights Back (Columbia University Press, 2012), considers the link between AIDS denialism, conspiracy theory, and the rejection of evidence-based medicine.
AIDS denialism has proved socially resilient because dissident “hero scientists” provide legitimacy, “cultropreneurs” offer fake cures in the place of antiretroviral treatment, and HIV-positive “living icons” seem to provide proof of concept.
AIDS denialists believe that HIV does not cause AIDS and that antiretrovirals should not be used for HIV prevention or treatment
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