House of Numbers

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Not just a river in Egypt

Denialism

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♫ We're not listening ♫

House of Numbers is a 2009 film directed and produced by Brent Leung, which purports to objectively examine the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. Of course, what it turns out to actually be is a "weaselly support pamphlet for AIDS denialists"[1] and "a dreary and pernicious piece of AIDS denialist propaganda."[2]

The film consists mostly of Leung interviewing a range of scientists and HIV denialists, including Christine Maggiore, an HIV-positive denialist whose 3-year-old daughter died of untreated AIDS, and who herself succumbed to AIDS-induced pneumonia before the film was released, although her death is only mentioned in small print in the closing credits along with a claim that it was "unrelated to HIV."[3]

The film makes liberal use of cherry-picking, and many of the scientists interviewed for the film complained that they had been interviewed under false pretenses, and that their answers to Leung's questions were selectively edited to convey a false impression that the scientific community disagrees on the basic facts about HIV/AIDS.[3] Two interviewees later cited examples supporting the allegation that Leung misrepresented their words in a "surely intentional" manner.[4] A panel discussion of the film at a Boston film festival was disrupted by Leung and other HIV/AIDS denialists in the audience, who attempted to shout down members of the panel they disagreed with.[5]

Reaction from the scientific community was, predictably, negative. Someone should really take the time to rebut all the arguments individually, but basically it's just the HIV/AIDS denialist version of Expelled.

External Links[edit]

Debunking the AIDS Denialist Movie House of Numbers

References[edit]

  1. Catsoulis, Jeanette (4 September 2009). "AIDS Seen From a Different Angle". New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/movies/04house.html. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  2. Goldacre, Ben (September 26, 2009). "House of Numbers". The Guardian. http://www.badscience.net/2009/09/house-of-numbers/. Retrieved September 27, 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Burki T (2009). "House of Numbers". Lancet Infect Dis 9 (12): 735. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099%2809%2970316-0/fulltext. 
  4. "Constantine and Weiss pinpoint misrepresentations". Aidstruth.org. November 26, 2009. http://www.aidstruth.org/features/2009/constantine-and-weiss. Retrieved November 27, 2009. 
  5. Jacobs, Ethan (April 22, 2009). "Crazy 'House'". Bay Windows. http://baywindows.com/crazy-house-90259. Retrieved September 8, 2009.