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AIDS has played a pivotal role in propelling the LGBTQ movement forward at warp speed, both in terms of financial backing and emotional support. It transformed what was once considered a fringe aspect of gay culture into a mainstream phenomenon, laying the groundwork for the formidable political and social force we see today. AIDS really brought folks like Dr. Fauci into the spotlight as well, where he was hailed as a sort of hero in the battle against this deadly disease. But when you take a closer look, the hero label doesn’t quite stick, especially if you listen to voices from the gay community. Many feel they were more like guinea pigs in Fauci’s climb to fame and fortune, riding on the coattails of a treacherous disease. Back in 1983, Fauci wrote an article for the Journal of the American Medical Association in which he claimed AIDS could be caught through routine “close contact” with family members. Later, experts would reevaluate Fauci’s theory, and they determined AIDS was not “catchy” through routine interactions but was caused by the HIV virus.


Press accounts, noticing Fauci’s article, immediately sounded the alarm. “Household contacts can transmit AIDS,” read one nationally syndicated report on the UPI wire dated May 5, 1983. The Associated Press queried the next day “Does AIDS spread by Routine Contact?” and quoted Fauci as their lead authority. The New York Times raised the specter of household transmission between family members, invoking Fauci’s commentary as its main authority.

We now know of course that Fauci’s theory was wrong. HIV, the virus that was later discovered to cause AIDS, only transmits by exposure to infected bodily fluids such as blood, or by sexual contact. The infant infection discussed in the same JAMA issue involved vertical transmission from the mother to child during pregnancy.

The damage was already done though, as the media went to work stoking alarm about AIDS transmission through simple routine contacts. Hundreds of newspapers disseminated the distressing theory from Fauci’s article. Writing a few weeks later, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan enlisted Fauci as the centerpiece of a rebuttal against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, who told him “there is no evidence…that the general population is threatened by [AIDS].”

It looks like Dr. Fauci hasn’t changed much since he first emerged on the disease scene. He’s playing the same “revisionist” role with COVID as he did with AIDS, sticking to his pattern of changing narratives without missing a beat. The AIER piece goes on:

Fauci usually caveats his remarks with a stream of noncommittal auxiliary verbs – the disease “could,” “might,” or “may” behave as his latest prognostication asserts. But the press runs with a bold headline anyway, declaring that Fauci has spoken and his word is final…at least until it is not. That’s when Fauci modifies his prior position without even the slightest scrutiny from an adoring press corps, and proceeds as if his newer pronouncement has been his position all along. The flip-flop is then complete and broadcast by the same press as the new gospel, even if it directly contradicts the fair doctor’s own advice given only weeks or days prior.

The claim by Fauci that AIDS could be transmitted through everyday activities sparked a lot of anger, with many blaming him for the panic and the unfair treatment of people with AIDS. Fast forward to today, and you’ve got some experts thinking Fauci might have been onto something, albeit in a different way. They’re leaning into the Duesberg theory, which suggests AIDS isn’t caused by HIV but rather stems from the “gay lifestyle.” This theory was put forth by Peter Duesberg, a German-American molecular biologist and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. It’s a controversial take, for sure, stirring up its own set of debates in the scientific community and beyond.


The Duesberg hypothesis is the claim that AIDS is not caused by HIV, but instead that AIDS is caused by noninfectious factors such as recreational and pharmaceutical drug use and that HIV is merely a harmless passenger virus.


Duesberg argues that there is a statistical correlation between trends in recreational drug use and trends in AIDS cases.[6] He argues that the epidemic of AIDS cases in the 1980s corresponds to a supposed epidemic of recreational drug use in the United States and Europe during the same time frame.

A paper on the NIH website discusses Dr. Duesberg’s theory as well:

Duesberg recently published that HIV and AIDS may well be correlated, but stated that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. Duesberg bases his hypothesis on the fact that HIV fulfills neither Koch’s classic postulates nor several more of his own postulates for viral pathogenesis. Following the summary of individual pathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection, the separate points of Duesberg’s hypothesis are discussed in detail. It is made very clear that the magnitude of epidemiologic, clinical, and experimental observations and results argue for a causal role of HIV and AIDS.

Duesberg also appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss his findings, and very quickly, the left attacked him and even tried to get the episode removed from Spotify.

We found the forbidden episode in case the reader is interested:

Here’s Joe Rogan discussing Duesberg’s theory.

However, the left’s screeching didn’t stop the conversation. Dr. Bret Weinstein, another scientist, brought the Duesberg Theory back into the spotlight on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and, as you can guess, it stirred up quite a storm. Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist, and he shared with Joe that there’s evidence suggesting the “gay lifestyle” could indeed be what’s behind AIDS, causing yet another meltdown on the left.

For curious readers who want to go further down the rabbit hole, we recommend the following documentary

Honestly, it seems like this theory is what a lot of people believe, PhD or not. Many folks who came of age in the 80s, when AIDS began making headlines, had the impression that it was spreading among gay men primarily because of unprotected sex with multiple partners, combined with excessive use of immune-suppressing drugs like “poppers.” Perhaps this “theory” has ever really faded; it might have been shouted down or pushed aside, but that stigma, for lack of a better term, has lingered for decades.