Response to Jerry Coyne's Misrepresentation of My Position on HIV/AIDS

Jerry Coyne has set himself up repeatedly to use smear tactics in order to portray me as irrational. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t go to medical school, but I did. Of course the HIV virus causes AIDS.


Coyne had to dig up a conversation from 1990 and place it in the worst possible light even to find a hint that I am an AIDS denier. Since I’ve written dozens of books, hundreds of online articles, ten peer-reviewed scientific articles, and a daily stream of tweets, wouldn’t I have mentioned AIDS denial at least once if that’s what I believed? Most deniers shout it from the rooftop.


That wasn’t the point I was making in the conversation with Tony Robbins. I chose the phrase “precipitating agent” quite deliberately.


Exposure to HIV isn’t a guarantee of acquiring it, unlike Ebola, for example, where contact of even the slightest kind with fluids from someone with Ebola can lead to infection. HIV is far more difficult to transmit. Who, then, is most liable to actually be infected? There are certain conditions, such as an open wound, even a tiny one at the gum line, where access to the bloodstream allows the virus to enter. So poor personal hygiene, such as not brushing your teeth and allowing your gums to swell and bleed, is most certainly a risk. That’s one thing I was touching upon.