Some members of the National Academy of Sciences no doubt were shocked this past February when the latest edition of their thick, pale gray journal—Proceedings of the NAS— arrived in their mailboxes. Here was the National Academy—the most respected, and surely the most cautions, scientific body in the United States—publishing in its very own “house organ” the work of Peter Duesberg, the respected but controversial University of California, Berkeley, retrovirologist who has been arguing for two years now that HIV is in no way the cause of AIDS. This opinion has earned Duesberg little more than opprobrium throughout the AIDS research community, since his ideas are totally at odds with the consensus view in the biomedical field. And yet, there he was, in PNAS [volume 86(3), pages 755-764], not only raising the same heretical notions all over again, but doing so at greater length than ever and with...

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