“What causes a decrease in IL-2 (CD8 cell anti-viral factor) production is not known” (331)
“The process leading to a reduction in anti-HIV immune responses, mirrored by the loss of CD4 cells and CD8 cell responses, are not yet well defined. Most likely, multiple factors are involved in CD4 cell loss” (328)
“[R]elatively few infected cells show sufficient virus replication that would lead to cell death” (329)
“The exact mechanism toward CD4 cell depletion and immune deficiency are not yet well defined, and its cellular latency, as well as several other features of HIV infection, remain mysterious” (429)
“The clinical relevance of neutralizing antibodies remains unclear” (246)
“Why certain laboratory strains (of HIV) passaged for months or years in vitro, are very sensitive to neutralization by a variety of heterologous sera is not clear” (240)
That last statement is quite typical. The details in the text make plain that nothing is understood about how HIV is supposed to kill off the immune system and cause AIDS. But those who believe in their bones that HIV causes AIDS can only repeat over and over again, “Much is known but more needs to be understood”; Fauci, for one, says that almost routinely. What exactly it is that’s known is never specified, however.
It’s not that these people willfully ignore evidence, it’s that they are incapable of appreciating its significance because their mindset makes it literally inconceivable; it’s an illustration of the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance, by which our minds guard themselves against threats to our beliefs.
It follows that Rethinking cannot reasonably aim to change the minds of the HIV/AIDS research establishment: those will be the very last people to admit the truth. Change must be forced from the outside, by those who make public policy and feed the funding of research, treatment, and ancillary public activities. One tiny silver lining in the pervasively gloomy global economic clouds may be that some politicians might become willing to listen to claims that tens of billions of dollars are being wasted annually in pursuit of a non-existent entity that causes an invented disease.
The insight that “none are so blind as those who will not see” has been traced back as far as the 16th century. Answers.com cites, apparently from the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs:
Who is so deafe, or so blynde, as is hee, That willfully will nother here nor see [1546 J. HeywoodDialogue of Proverbs ii. ix. K4]
There is no manne so blynd as he that will not see, nor so dull as he that wyll not vnderstande [1551 Cranmer Answer to Gardiner 58]
My Wordsworth Dictionary of Proverbs (ed. G. L. Apperson, 1993) also gives, from 1547, Borde’s Breviary of Helthe
Concepts like this were doubtless known well before they could be traced in written records. For a delightful as well as informative illustration, see Robert Merton’s On the Shoulders of Giants.