Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

HIV Denialists Spread Misinformation Online: Consequences Could Be Deadly

Date:
August 22, 2007
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
The Internet is serving as a fertile medium for "HIV denialists" to spread false ideas about HIV/AIDS, which could have terrible public health consequences, say scientists in a policy paper in PLoS Medicine.

The Internet is serving as a fertile medium for "HIV denialists" to spread false ideas about HIV/AIDS, which could have terrible public health consequences, say scientists in a policy paper in PLoS Medicine.

"It may seem remarkable that, 23 years after the identification of HIV, there is still denial that the virus is the cause of AIDS," say Tara Smith (University of Iowa College of Public Health) and Steven Novella (Yale University School of Medicine). But with the arrival of the Internet, HIV denialist organizations such as "Reappraising AIDS" have reignited their campaign to spread misinformation.

There is a consensus in the scientific community that HIV is the cause of AIDS, based upon over two decades of robust research. Deniers must therefore reject this consensus, say Smith and Novella, "either by denigrating the notion of scientific authority in general, or by arguing that the mainstream HIV community is intellectually compromised."

It is therefore not surprising, they say, that much of the newer denial literature on the Internet reflects a basic distrust of authority and of the institutions of science and medicine. Distrusting mainstream medical practitioners, many HIV deniers turn to unproven "alternative" medicines in search of treatment.

Many members of the general public do not have the scientific background to critique the assertions put forth by these groups, say Smith and Novella. Those who believe the false information spread by HIV denialists could end up putting themselves at risk of HIV infection (e.g. by abandoning safe sex), while those who are already infected could end up seeking unproven, ineffective remedies.

"The effect of denial groups on public perception of HIV infection is an area ripe for careful research," they say "as this denial can have lethal consequences."

Citation: Smith TC, Novella SP (2007) HIV denial in the Internet era. PLoS Med 4(8): e256.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "HIV Denialists Spread Misinformation Online: Consequences Could Be Deadly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821081431.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2007, August 22). HIV Denialists Spread Misinformation Online: Consequences Could Be Deadly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821081431.htm
Public Library of Science. "HIV Denialists Spread Misinformation Online: Consequences Could Be Deadly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070821081431.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins