Samuel Katz (Letters, The Scientist, Aug. 21, 1995, page 11) criticizes my proposal that AIDS is caused by recreational drugs, AZT, and other noncontagious risk factors for not discussing ~maternal-infant transmission of HIV/AIDS.~ However, I have pointed out explicitly in The Scientist that about 80 percent of pediatric AIDS in the United States and Europe is the consequence of intravenous drugs received by newborns from their mothers prior to birth (P. Duesberg, The Scientist, March 20, 1995, page 12). The harm to these babies is often compounded by pre- and postnatal treatment with the cytotoxic DNA chain terminator AZT. This is documented as follows:

  1. HIV-free children born to mothers who had used intravenous drugs during pregnancy have the same AIDS-defining diseases as HIV-positives (P.H. Duesberg, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 55:201-77, 1992), indicating that HIV is not even a ~cofactor,~ as Katz suggests.

  2. Upon termination of maternally transmitted drugs...

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