In a column hosted on the American Family Association website, Bryan Fischer defended his denial of the HIV-AIDS link. On Monday, Rick and Kay Warren released a statement to me which condemned Fischer’s recent campaign to support the work of Peter Duesberg. Duesberg is a professor of biology at UC – Berkeley who claims that HIV is a harmless virus and does not cause AIDS.
In his rebuttal, Fischer restates arguments from his previous columns and at times, inadvertently argues against himself. For instance, Fischer chides the Warrens with Uganda as an illustration:
Warren knows for a fact that the only nation in Africa that has been able to dramatically reduce its AIDS rate is Uganda, which has done it by emphasizing abstinence before marriage and fidelity after. It makes perfect sense. If the cause is bad behavior, the cure is good behavior. Pastor Warren ought to be down with that, since that’s exactly what the Scriptures teach.
If you want to solve the AIDS crisis, the solution is simple, and it’s not found in a test tube. If you’re a man, stop using poppers, stop having sex with other men, and don’t shoot up. The beauty of that solution is that it doesn’t require billions and billions of dollars.
First of all, Uganda has reduced the AIDS rate by reducing HIV transmission among straights. According Harvard AIDS prevention expert, Edward Green, gays have a very small impact on the situation there. The ABC approach (abstinence, be faithful, condom use) has been quite helpful there, but this is not what Fischer suggests in his very next paragraph. Instead, Fischer’s advice to men in Uganda — “stop using poppers, stop having sex with other men and don’t shoot up” — would be nearly meaningless. Fischer and Duesberg’s Stop, Stop and Don’t Shoot won’t stop HIV but the ABC method does.
What Fischer does not do is confront the horrendous consequences of his campaign already realized in South Africa. As the Warrens pointed out, the South African government took Duesberg’s advice from 2000-2005 which led to thousands of babies being infected and over 330,000 deaths, as estimated by two follow up studies.
Yesterday, I wrote the AFA’s Tim Wildmon to ask if the AFA agrees with Fischer’s views. No reply has come as yet.