Foo Fighters Question Link Between HIV, AIDS

The Foo Fighters have gone on record advocating Alive And Well, an alternative AIDS information group that questions the link between HIV and AIDS.

"The current thinking on AIDS is in serious need of reconsideration," begins a statement on the band's official Web site at foofighters.com. "At the heart of it are questions about the reliability of current research, the accuracy of tests, the safety and effectiveness of treatments, the direction of education, and the wisdom of public health policies. As a result, people are often hurt by the same institutions that are meant to help them."

In a recent interview in "Mother Jones" magazine, Foos bassist Nate Mendel says he learned about Alive And Well through founder Christine Maggiore's self-published book "What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?"

While HIV negative himself, Mendel says Maggiore's book won him over

to the "AIDS dissident" side, which claims that HIV has never been proven to be the cause of AIDS and that AIDS is really caused by toxicity stemming from "drug cocktails" prescribed to AIDS patients, lifestyle variables, chronic drug use, and stress.

Members of the medical establishment have not taken to Alive And Well's controversial message or what celebrity backing, such as that of the Foos, will shine upon it.

"[The Foo Fighters] have a big responsibility in terms of [their] public role and the impact that they can have on young people," Diane Tanaka, a physician who works with HIV-affected, low-income youth at L.A.'s Children's Hospital, told "Mother Jones."

The CDC issued a more moderate statement to the magazine. "Clearly, more research is needed on the factors that contribute to HIV infection and the development of AIDS," said Dorcus Crumbley of the CDC. "However, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that HIV is the cause of AIDS."

"The myth that

HIV is not the primary cause of AIDS... could cause [HIV-positive people] to reject treatment critical for their own health and for preventing transmission to others," Crumbley added.

Christine Maggiore, the founder of Alive And Well, is HIV positive and has stayed healthy without taking prescription drugs. The HIV/AIDS connection, she says, is maintained by corporate drug companies, the medical establishment, and lazy journalism. Groups who question the medical establishment's definitions and treatments for AIDS have become more vocal in recent years, as drug prescriptions are up while actual AIDS cases are down.

The Foo Fighters hosted a benefit for Alive And Well in Los Angeles in January. The sold-out concert featured a speech by Maggiore, who said that people should not get tested for HIV or take pharmaceuticals to counter it.

The Foo Fighters are the first high-profile entertainers to endorse the organization.

Alive And Well is a Los Angeles-based non-profit

group which has a number of Ph.Ds and MDs on its advisory board, including Dr. David Rasnick, one of the inventors of protease inhibitors, and Karry B. Mullis, a 1993 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry from La Jolla, California. For more information on the organization, check its Web site www.aliveandwell.org.