Mark Wainberg

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The Other Side Of AIDS Review


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The Other Side of AIDS, a documentary by Robin Scovill, had its world premiere in its completed form at the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, Kansas on October 3. The film takes the position that HIV is not the cause of AIDS; rather, it says that the gay lifestyle of the 1980s - constant drug abuse (including toxic "poppers"), malnutrition, and rampant, casual sex - was a natural breeding ground for illnesses and infections of all kinds, and that the resulting sicknesses have incorrectly been lumped together into a syndrome: AIDS. No one dies of AIDS, the film continues; in fact, the most frequent cause of death among those identified as HIV-positive is the powerful, toxic drugs used to treat it.

Naturally, this is a controversial position, and already Newsweek has likened Scovill and his adherents to Holocaust-deniers. The established medical community is likewise hostile to them, afraid that vulnerable HIV-positive persons will abandon their drug regimens and go untreated. And gay groups are justifiably upset by the broad brush used in characterizing gay men as amoral party animals.

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