The following, authored by our in house Doctor of Pharmacy, paints a very clean and concise picture of just how important it is to never stop questioning the authority. And to always keep searching for the cure.
Washington, DC April 23, 1984. A man, unknown at the time, stands before a packed press conference, and announces the he has discovered the probable cause of AIDS. The man is Robert Gallo, a virologist from the newly formed National Cancer Institute. Side note, at the time cancer was believed to be caused by viruses, which has since gone unproven, and quite frankly anything that causes cell destruction (virus, toxins, etc.) may very well lead to cancer as it is simply a collection of cell death. I digress. Hoards of virologist newly out of school were to be groomed to cure cancer, only to find themselves jobless with the falsehoods to be discovered about cancer. Lucky for them, Gallo had a whole new virus to tackle, and a new industry to do so.
Though Gallo would have the spoils this day, it would later be discovered that he had stolen his discovery, initially labeled HTLV-3 and later coined HIV, from a Frenchman named Luc Montagnier after he sent his findings to Gallo for comment. This would not go unsung, and, in 1994, Montagnier was named co-discoverer. By that time, Gallo’s fans have dwindled. In 1984, however, the nation was starving for an answer to this new pandemic called AIDS and any car-salesman in a fresh pressed lab-coat would suffice.
The first official case of AIDS was diagnosed in Brazil in 1982 however, the CDC had been following a pneumonia only found in cats popping up among a small population of gay men in the states in 1981. As AIDS causes a slow immunity system death, typically patients present with rare diseases (usually only found in house pets and infants) as the first signs and symptoms. Side note, Africa is NOT the birth place of AIDS, there are no savage Africans raping green monkeys, just another white man scapegoat. I digress. AIDS quickly had taken the world by storm and those dying and theirs were desperate for answers and cures, one must keep this atmosphere in mind in order to understand why we decided to follow Gallo’s lead.
Peter Duesberg, like Gallo, had a stake in cancer research before HIV/AIDS hit mainstream. However, unlike Gallo, Duesberg did not agree with the theory that HIV is the viral cause of and leads to AIDS. To get a complete understanding of this theory, it would be like hearing in the news tomorrow that high blood pressure (a disease-state), was actually caused by a contractible virus. Duesberg, a classical biologist, was the first in the scientific community to publish his findings that detested the link between HIV and AIDS. These findings were published in the late ‘80s, and by that time no one seemed to have an ear for it. The science and health community were pressured for a cure, and they wished to have no time to question Gallo’s theory. This impatience and deaf ear to Duesberg would be a mistake. Gallo’s theory would lead to rushed medical approval, what would have taken years to develop new medications was permitted in months, and deadly adverse effects for newly diagnosed patients. Duesberg became labeled at the time as a scientific psychopath, and was ostracized from the community for over 20 years for questioning the theory that would build a medical industry.
Flash-forward almost 30 years, AIDS is still going strong. In fact, if the disease continues its progression at the current pace it will surpass both the Black Plague and the 1918 Spanish Flu as the worst pandemic this planet has ever seen by 2035. The science and medical community have been able to hobble the progression of disease, but have been unable to cure it once contracted. Statistically, newly diagnosed cases continue to drop (most likely due to education and safe sex practices), those living with AIDS is on the rise, and deaths due to AIDS continue to drop (due to medicinal advances). Many advances have been made over these 30 years, but one thing remains unchanged…the theory of origin.
To this day, we still do not know where HIV or AIDS came from, or why it is here. However, and here’s the kicker, there are numerous of cases of HIV that never develop into AIDS, AIDS cases that were never diagnosed with HIV, and new variations and mutations of the original HIV virus. Shockingly, Gallo is out, and Duesberg, well, is still rogue. Rogue in the way that only a man cemented in his principles and standards can be. Rogue in the way that only he chooses to be. Rogue in a Johnny Depp 21 Jump Street kind of way. Berkley seems to think he’s cool though.
As a pharmacist, I’m privy to the ins and outs of any treatable disease. However, there is always that one that seems to demand attention, and like an itch that just won’t scratch you can’t help but play with it. I stumbled upon this true story about the birth of the AIDS industry while researching the disease and my view has been changed sense. Gallo decides to give the easy quick answer, while Duesberg never ceased to question, and yet we as a society chose to follow Gallo. Makes me question the entire “health” community in this country. Makes me think about CrossFit, and the importance of going against the crowd in search of the truth, even if that makes me an outcast. Makes me never want to stop questioning.
“Sectionals WOD 11.3″
-Squat Clean 110/165
AMRAP 5 Minutes
*Each movement counts as a point.
Post weight moved and total reps to comments.