]]]]]]]]]      NATURE Prints A Dishonest Book Review    [[[[[[[[[
                        By Oleg Panczenko              (2/8/1990)
                       (Freeman 10602PANC)

   That an item appears in a  respected publication is no mark of
its  veracity or  worth.  A  case in  point is  Duncan Campbell's
review, ``Beyond the Evidence'', of Michael Fumento's The Myth of
Heterosexual Aids  in Nature  345:321-322 (25  January 1990).  Mr
Campbell is Associate Editor of the left-wing British publication
New Statesman/Society.  In this little piece I will contrast what
Mr Campbell  says with what  Mr Fumento says  by placing extracts
side by side.

CAMPBELL:  ``[I]n Fumento's  world, heterosexual  transmission of
HIV cannot and does not occur if the infected partner was himself
or herself  infected with  HIV through  heterosexual intercourse.
The fact that such transmission is both theoretically predictable
.. and is observed epidemiologically  -- on a particularly large
scale  in Africa  --  causes him  little  discomfort.'' (Campbell
321:1-2).

REPLY:  From Table  5.2, ``HIV  Infection: What  Are The  Risks /
Chances  of HIV  Infection  from Heterosexual  Intercourse'', the
estimated risk of  infection, 500 sexual  encounters, partner not
in high-risk group,  not using condoms, is  1 in 16,000 (Fumento,
p. 68).

``[T]he African and Haitian epidemics  are, in many areas, indeed
devastating. ... With  few exceptions, heterosexually transmitted
AIDS  is  the  problem  --  one  among  many  --  of  Third World
countries.'' (Fumento, p. 128)

CAMPBELL: ``The  true myth of  this book --  the proposition that
heterosexual  transmission of  the `pure'  sort (which  he labels
tertiary  transmission),  cannot  occur  --  is  an  invention by
Fumento.'' (Campbell 321:2)

REPLY:  Campbell   contradicts  himself   two  paragraphs  later:
``Fumento goes  on to admit  that tertiary  transmission has been
observed. ...'' (Campbell 321:3).

CAMPBELL: ``Fumento then re-asserts his central axiom, and claims
that heterosexuals get HIV  infection ``only from shared needles,
from transfusions, ...'' '' (Campbell 321:2).

REPLY:   The  sentence Campbell  partially  quotes  begins ``They
certainly  do get  it,  from shared  needles,  from transfusions,
..'' (Fumento, pp.  15-16).  Notice how  Campbell has introduced
`only' before `from shared'.

CAMPBELL: ``... HIV can pass sexually from man to woman to man to
woman, all heterosexuals.  Fumento's axiom  is the real myth.  He
admits  this:  ``There   is  no  physical   law  saying  tertiary
transmission cannot happen.'' '' (Campbell p. 321:3)

REPLY:  Fumento: ``Naturally,  there  is no  physical  law saying
tertiary  transmission cannot  happen.   Rather, it  is extremely
rare ...'' (Fumento, p. 79)

CAMPBELL: ``Only  a writer  whose prejudices  deny humanity could
write in  such bad  taste as  this: ``Although  AIDS is  no joke,
there  is  good  news  and  bad  news  about  the  length  of HIV
infectiousness ... the  `good news' [is]  that the great majority
and  perhaps almost  all,  of HIV-infected  persons  will develop
debilitating symptoms or die.'' '' (Campbell 322:1)

REPLY: Fumento, p. 25: ``Although AIDS  is no joke, there is good
news and  bad news about  the length of  HIV infectiousness.  The
bad  news is  that  there's no  reason  to think  that infectious
persons will ever  become uninfectious, short  of death.  As long
as they are alive and well  enough to have intercourse, they will
be   able   to   spread   the   AIDS-causing   virus   --   human
immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

  ``The ``good news''  here is actually  terrible news for anyone
infected.   Originally,  it   was  thought  that   only  a  small
percentage  of  those infected  with  the  virus would  go  on to
develop  the  disease.   While this  was  reassuring  to infected
persons,  it made  the long-term  outlook for  the spread  of the
disease look bad  because it meant that  large numbers of healthy
persons would be spreading the virus to others indefinitely.  But
a consensus  of opinion has  now formed that  the great majority,
and  perhaps almost  all,  of HIV-infected  persons  will develop
debilitating symptoms or die.''

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