THE DAMNATION OF THE MAN WHO CURED AIDS
Progressive Commentary Hour, May 7, 2019
Well before 1981, when the Centers for Disease Control reported that San Francisco resident Ken Horne was identified as the first confirmed patient with AIDS, members of the gay community were already exhibiting in large numbers symptoms that would later be attributed to AIDS and an HIV infection. During the 1970s, as hard partying with recreational drugs and unprotected sex became a way of nightly entertainment for a very small segment of the gay community — perhaps 2-3 percent — as well as a small percentage of the heterosexual community (i.e. swingers) signs of a serious immune-compromised illness were appearing. This lifestyle became known as fast-tracking. Gay men would consume large quantities of alcohol, experiment with a wide variety of drugs including the over-counter drug amyl nitrite — popularly known as poppers, and could have sex with multiple partners in a single night. Nights out could go into the wee hours of the morning, and many men were seriously sleep deprived and malnourished. Following a day’s work at a job this nightly routine would then start over again.
As one of New York City’s most listened to radio broadcasters and experts on emerging natural health and alternative medical therapies, Dr. Gary Null had developed a large network of relationships with physicians and health practitioners who regularly listened to his program. Consequently, before mass, public fear over AIDS arose, Null became deeply aware of the unusual symptoms appearing within a growing number gay men and swinging men and women who were seeking private physicians for medical attention and treatment. One of the more common symptoms was the life-threatening and opportunistic lung infection pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or PCP that was attributed to individuals with weakened immune symptoms.
PCP is extremely rare for people with normal immune functioning. The illness is usually associated with patients on chemotherapy or other drugs known to depress immune function. Usually it appeared in children undergoing cancer treatment for leukemia. Therefore, when PCP was being reported among otherwise healthy adults a red flag was raised that something was awry.
During the worst years of the AIDS epidemic, and the highest rate of deaths in the 1990s, Dr. Null treated 1200 individuals with AIDS defining symptoms. This was largely done through the Tri-State Healing Center that Null founded on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. As public awareness about the therapeutic value of alternative approaches to health and wellness increased, a growing number of individuals and groups within the scientific community were calling attention to the benefits of an integrative approach to AIDS. The alternative AIDS health scene was being born at the Tri-State Center.
Although there is no recognizable overlap between Dr. Null’s natural protocols and the drug-based HIV treatments that hold dominance today, Null’s results cannot be denied. Regardless whether the private medical industry and the federal health agencies refuse to recognize a drug-free therapy or not, if such a treatment is shown to produce positive results, it cannot simply be explained away as a pseudoscience nor quackery. Yet opposition and disdain were the responses that Null and many other physicians using alternative means to treat early AIDS patients had to confront.
As the official voice for the health of the nation, the CDC, FDA and HHS have it within their powers to create mythologies, complacency about real national health threats that we should otherwise seriously disturb us. They also have the means to generate exaggerated hysteria. A recent example is the 2019 measles outbreak and the government’s urgency to vaccinate the entire population. Suffice to say, there have only been 11 deaths from measles infections during the past 19 years; the last recorded deaths from wild measles were in 2015 and both patients had other pre-existing and severe immuno-compromised health conditions. On the other hand, there are over 450 reported deaths due to the measles vaccine recorded in the CDC’s VAERS database for this same time period.
For certain, the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s launched an enormous scientific research and discovery effort to identify how the body’s immune system operates when challenged by a serious and largely unknown viral infection. As a result, today we have a far greater understanding about the immune system. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical approach to treating viral infections, notably HIV, has been single-minded and has adhered to a one-size-fits-all course of treatment. Anti-viral drug therapy is little more than a horse race to kill a virus before it destroys the body. In the case of early HIV antivirals, it was additionally a race as to whether the virus could be defeated before the drug killed the patient.
When the first signs of what would eventually be termed AIDS were appearing in physicians’ offices, patients also frequently had other co-infections aside from weakened immune systems, including hepatitis B, non-A non-B hepatitis (which Dr. Bill Rutter at UCSF would eventually sequence and identify as hepatitis C in the mid-1980s), cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr, coxsackie virus, mycoplasma and yeast infections, herpes, syphilis and gonorrhea. They were also being prescribed medications like candy such as antibiotics and steroids, in addition to recreational drugs. Were the debilitating conditions of these patients due to a new virulent strain of one of these other infections or was it something completely new? Nobody knew for certain before the French Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier at the Institute Pasteur identified a virus that was named lymphadenopathy-associated virus or LAV (later renamed HIV) as the likely causative culprit for AIDS in 1983.
But before the arrival of the first antiretroviral drug AZT in 1987, physicians and health practitioners were forced to prescribe only the treatments in their medical tool boxes. Orthodox doctors were the least successful. Suffice to say, it was an effort performed in the dark.
Although heralded as a hero in his discovery of HIV, Luc Montagnier would eventually become a pariah for breaking away from the politically-correct interpretation of HIV infection. He argued that far too much attention was being focused on the HIV virus rather than investigating other cofactors such as other viruses, bacteria and especially mycoplasmas without cell walls that may be amplifying HIV’s effects. After tracking a group of HIV-positive and AIDS-free patients for 10 years, Montagnier stated, “We can no longer say that HIV infection is always a death sentence.” He concluded that a person could be HIV-positive for their entire life and not develop AIDS because the virus does not act alone. He also suggested that these mycoplasmas, often smaller than other bacteria and often harmless, may become virulent from the overuse of antibiotics, which create “killer mycoplasmas.”
During an interview for Whole Foods Magazine, Montagnier noted four factors that contribute to HIV’s AIDS-like symptoms when they come together: the presence of the virus, hyper activation of the body’s T-cell receptor immune response, the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea and cancroid, and behavioral patterns acting as cofactors that may include poor nutrition, over consumption of alcohol and recreational drugs and physical and emotional stress. One important cofactor is oxidative stress, which Montagnier observed in “higher free radical production in stage II of HIV infection.
Although Montagnier supported the antiretroviral drug regimen, he also felt antioxidant supplementation was essential. His later research included the evaluating complementary natural protocols alongside the AIDS drugs, including the use of N-acetyl cysteine, beta carotene, Vitamins C and E, superoxide dismutase (SOD), metallothionein and various plant extracts. He is also on record for emphasizing the enormous role healthy nutrition plays for warding off AIDS-like symptoms while being HIV-positive. When asked by filmmaker Brent Leung in his documentary House of Cards whether HIV could be gotten rid of naturally, Montagnier replied, “I would think so… It’s important knowledge that is completely neglected. People always think of drugs and vaccines.”
However, long before Montagnier came around to question the AZT strategy as the only effective treatment, Null and his colleagues had been utilizing antioxidant therapies as a primary defense in treating AIDS symptoms for over a decade.
By 1985, the demand for a drug to treat the increasing number of HIV-positive and AIDS cases was increasing exponentially. Therefore a drug that had only been shown to be effective against HIV in a petri dish was quickly discharged upon the public. Yes, in a petri dish. Burroughs Wellcome, AZT’s manufacturer had only submitted results of the drug being used in a medium of HIV-infected animal cells that showed positive antiviral activity. Following two years of poorly designed and flawed human clinical trials, the FDA fast tracked AZT for approval and registration. Quickly the medical establishment recognized it as the most effective treatment against HIV infection and AIDS.
Conventional medicine then and now has remained largely in denial over the benefits of treatments that don’t require a pill or scalpel. The only difference between practitioners of natural medical therapies and conventional physicians is that the former are simply making efforts to treat patients by drug-free, non-toxic methods. Practically every drug on the market has its adverse effects, and this was especially true of AZT when it was first used as a first course of treatment for HIV-positive patients. However AZT was one of the most toxic drugs ever developed in the pharmaceutical industry’s arsenal of treatments. At the time of its invention, it was discovered to be so toxic and lethal to humans that it had to be abandoned and shelved. In fact, Dr. Jerome Horowitz who developed the compound would later state “it was a terrible disappointment…. we dumped it on the junk pile. I didn’t keep the notebooks.” In fact, it was not even worth patenting.
Wikipedia notes that AZT or azidothymidine is “the most effective and safe medicine needed in a health system.” The World Health Organization lists it as one of the “essential medicines” of our time. But does AZT really deserve this praise?
Based upon the manufacturer’s list of warnings, AZT is anything but safe and its efficacy remains questionable, unless one was to completely redefine the meaning of “safety.” The list of the drug’s adverse effects includes:
- Hematologic toxicity to bone marrow reserve
- Aplastic and hemolytic anemia and neutropenia
- Rapid reduction of hemoglobin
- Pancytopenia or reduction in red and white blood cells and platelets
- Myopathy and myositis with pathological changes
- Lymphadenopathy, an inflammatory disease of lymph nodes
- Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis (abnormal retention of lipids that affect the liver), including fatal cases
- Impairment of body’s ability to eliminate triglyceride fat
- Increased Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK) that can lead to heart attacks
- Hepatic decompensation — the development of jaundice, ascites, variceal hemorrhage, or hepatic encephalopathy
- Immune Reconstitution Syndrome – a paradoxical clinical worsening of a known condition or the appearance of a new condition after initiating antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients
- Rhabdomyolysis – a severe syndrome resulting in the degeneration of muscle fibers that can lead to renal failure and death
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome – serious skin disorder associated with a drug reaction that has flu-like symptoms and blistering of the skin and requires hospitalization.
Other less life-threatening side effects include asthenia, fevers and headaches, malaise, loss of mental acuity, seizures, anorexia, mascular edema, constipation or diarrhea, coughing, rhinitis and sinusitis, skin rashes, hearing loss, photophobia or an intolerance to light, nausea and vomiting.
The manufacturer even admits on its package insert that AZT causes AIDS:
“It was often difficult to distinguish adverse events, possibility associated with the administration of Retrovir [AZT] from underlying signs of HIV disease or intercurrent illnesses.”
This happens to be what Wikipedia regards as a “safe” drug. Is it therefore any surprise that many physicians and non-conventional medical practitioners would want to find a safer alternative if they truly cared about the well-being and health of their patients? For conventional physicians, clinics and hospitals, they acquiesced and simply complied with the CDC’s promises about the miraculous AZT cure.
AZT was clearly not the answer. Death rates skyrocketed during the years immediately upon and after its release. The British newspaper The Independent reported on the personal experience of a gay Englishman, Michael Cottrell, who was among the first patients to take AZT in 1987. AZT offered hope, albeit largely illusory, with a slight promise that HIV-positive people could live a bit longer. However the drug made Cottrell far worse than before. The newspaper reported,
“Cottrell still has boxes of AZT capsules at home. He gave up on it after several months, because he couldn’t stand how ill he was feeling on the drug; he felt as though his immune system was being damaged rather than strengthened; he believed he had never encountered a drug as toxic as AZT.”
Cottrell’s story is not an isolated event. Numerous patients had been reporting similar experiences while on the AZT protocol. Many simply couldn’t continue and had to stop taking it. But the problem was further compounded because there were some studies reaching the mainstream media indicated that AZT was not a silver bullet for treating either AIDS symptoms or HIV-positive individuals. Unfortunately these were almost completely ignored by the medical establishment and especially the pharmaceutical industrial complex which had a colossal revenue opportunity as the epidemic worsened.
These studies challenged the CDC’s and British health ministry’s belief and argued that AZT didn’t work at all. The British-French Concorde study was perhaps the largest AZT clinical trial ever conducted at that time and enrolled 1,749 patients over a three-year period. Rather than focus on patients displaying serious AIDS symptoms, it included patients testing positive for HIV but were not showing symptoms yet. The participants were roughly divided equally to receive either AZT or a placebo. The results were significant. Among the AZT group there were 169 AIDS-related deaths but only 3 deaths in the placebo group. The AZT group also showed a lot more adverse effects. Although T-cell counts improved among those receiving the drug for a short period time, it eventually left CD4 cell counts less than before starting the regimen. The study concluded that AZT was a waste of time.
Medical journalist Celia Farber later reached out to the chief scientist behind the Concorde trial, Dr. Ian Weller, who had indicated “We’ve carried out this study against incredible adversity” and much of this came from the executives at Burroughs Wellcome.
Much has been written and can still be written about the dismal failures of retroviral treatment with a drug that had so little scientific support to validate its efficacy and safety. Another problem was that rising death rates being recorded as directly associated with the disease were not being distinguished from AZT toxicity, notably renal and liver failure. It was already known that the drug could produce AIDS-type symptoms. With AZT being overly prescribed, mortality rates leaped from 4,885 in 1988, a year after the drug was being launched, to 14,500 in 1989. Rates continued to climb steadily as new nucleocide reverse transcriptase inhibitor drugs entered the market. The mortality statistics reached its peak in 1995 at over 48,000 deaths in the US alone.
The more important point is that the medical community was both at loggerheads and impatient to find a way to treat the growing number of patients coming down with AIDS-related symptoms. Dr. Null and his colleagues, notably Dr. Stephen Caiazza a gay New York City physician who had been struggling to treat persons with severe AIDS symptoms since the late 1970s, were employing whatever means they could. During the peak years of mortality in the early and mid-1990s, Dr. Null was treating over 1,200 AIDS patients. As with the conventional drug establishment, alternative physicians’ work was also largely experimental because nobody even in the federal health agencies or the American Medical Association really had any idea of what they were up against. Therefore the Tri-State Healing Center should be commended for the enormous pioneering efforts it made to treat AIDS patients naturally and often free of charge or at cost.
Not all of the patients coming through the Tri-State Healing Center tested positive for HIV; nevertheless they presented severe AIDS-defining symptoms. Null shared a HIV-AIDS hypothesis held by Dr. Chris Calapai, a New York board certified physician who adopted natural therapies and went on to become a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team. Calapai held the view that HIV triggers “a self-destructive immune response, for which appropriate models may be found in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), certain autoimmune disorders, and some animal viral infections.” In other words the HIV virus was provoking an immune response to destroy part of the immune system thereby lessening the body’s ability to fight other infections. This view confirms Null’s observations in many of Center’s patients who had symptoms of full-blown AIDS as well as a long history of multiple other bacterial and viral infections, most being sexually transmitted.
Luanne Penesi was a senior nurse administrator for adult medical units in geriatrics, hematology, neurology and oncology at one of New York’s leading medical hospital centers. She started to visit the Center for her own poor health conditions, which included hepatitis, chronic fatigue, systemic yeast infections and pre-cancerous breast cells. As a Center patient she had many opportunities to witness what was occurring at the Center with AIDS patients. During a radio broadcast, she shared her experience and her personal awakening from the gross failures of the dominant drug-based medical model she had committed herself to throughout her early career.
“After several months I saw people completely seroconverting and reversing AIDS. In conventional medicine when a person is diagnosed with AIDS or cancer, we want you to be afraid so you will do whatever we say. But these people [at the Center] were all managing their diets, all were on plant-based diets. They were taking herbs to detox their liver, taking immune enhancing herbs, and supplements. And they were all very excited and very optimistic and hopeful. It was a completely different picture for me of people with AIDS. I watched these people’s lab counts improve significantly over time. Then I saw them do bio-oxidative therapy. Viruses cannot live in a high oxygen environment. So when you flood the body with oxygen like bio-oxidative therapy, you are killing off viruses in large proportions. It was a completely new ball game for me. If I had not seen the lab results with my own eyes, I probably would never have believed something like this was possible. And during my time there I saw no less than 8 people completely reverse AIDS. I had never seen this in the medical community in the hospital. Not only did I see people with AIDS seroconvert, but I also saw people with many viruses — hepatitis, herpes, Epstein Barr, coxsackie virus, mycoplasma. I saw all these people seroconverting and getting happier and healthier. It was an empowerment model.”
The late director of the Institute of Applied Biology was a pioneering medical doctor and researcher who had worked at the Institute Pasteur in France before coming to the US. He is perhaps best known for having observed the quantum or energetic properties of lipids in health and disease. This led to his discovery of non-toxic lipid chemotherapy for treating cancer and later AIDS. He was also one of the more frequent visiting physicians working with Null at The Center. Dr. Elena Avram, a former fellow in the AIDS and Cancer department at the Institute of Applied Biology, has remained in contact with many of the AIDS patients who completely sero-converted and remain alive today. Dr. Avram witnessed and reviewed the records of 10 HIV patients who Null seroconverted to negative. From her experiences working in Zimbabwe and observing the results of antiretroviral drugs such AZT on AIDS patients made her conclude that “there were a lot of people who first had good results but after that they collapsed. Because not only were [the drugs] not controlling the virus but it was also depleting the last of the immune system that was left in them.”
David is still alive today after having been diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. After being treated at The Center, he completely seroconverted. Ever since there has been no trace of HIV in his blood exams. In his testimonial, David begins with the hope that “people will listen to my story and start to reject the dominant paradigm which says that the only way to deal with HIV infection is with tons of toxic drugs for the rest of your life.”
David was a particularly serious case. In addition to being HIV-positive he had histoplasmosis, idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia, anemia, Kaposi sarcoma, malabsorption syndrome and co-infections of cytomegalovirus, herpes, Epstein Barr, toxoplasmosis and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Seven of his 21 other diagnoses were each potentially fatal. His mother was a regular listener of Null’s radio broadcasts and convinced her son to go to The Center to begin intravenous Vitamin C drips and ozone therapy. There, Dr. Null created a protocol implemented by the medical staff. David also became a vegan, started juicing daily, and joined Null’s running and walking club. He eventually ran in the New York City Marathon.
After his experience at the Center, David noted that in the early days of the AIDS epidemic “everyone who went on the drugs died. They didn’t die from HIV; they didn’t die from AIDS; they died from AZT toxicity.”
Doug Henderson, an African American attorney and journalist, was visiting the Center to receive intravenous Vitamin C treatments for his health. Henderson was actually visiting a couple times a week to privately investigate the validity of the remarkable claims coming out of the Center. He recalls,
“AIDS back then meant death but not today. Since 1977 I had been listening to Gary Null and he started talking about AIDS in the mid-1980s… He had on his program people whom he said had seroconverted, meaning they were HIV positive and went negative, or they had full blown AIDS and subsequent blood tests revealed there was no trace of HIV or any of the other 29 co-factors that at that time compromised AIDS. I found that hard to believe… I went to his Center really on a reconnaissance mission. I wanted to find out if what Gary said was really true because there are a lot of hustlers out there. I needed hard proof. Then one man said he had had the HIV virus but didn’t have it any more. I found that a little hard to believe. As time went by 5 or 6 people told me the same thing…. [Later] Gary took me into his office and showed me 5 or 6 medical records and I could see that according to the records they had no trace of HIV in their system… It was remarkable the work they were doing at the Tri State Healing Center.”
The Center also served as a very informal training ground, as it were, for medical physicians to visit and observe for themselves the natural treatments being used and to speak with patients about their experiences. Among them was the late San Francisco Bay physician Dr. Robert Cathcart, an orthopedic instructor at Stanford University and pioneer in orthomolecular medicine. Cathcart adopted Null’s protocol, including high dose intravenous infusions of Vitamin C and the free radical scavenging antioxidant glutathione. Cathcart later claimed to have never lost an HIV-positive patient with this treatment.
As patients began to make major improvements, one spoke up one evening, to explain that in addition to his own progress in combating AIDS naturally, he knew of other individuals who were using more natural and holistic modalities all across the country and that the world didn’t know of this. The world only knew of the official AIDS treatment: AZT. He and the other people being treated at the Center all feared the mainstream treatment because they had seen how many of their friends and partners had died or become extremely sick using these aggressive drugs. And yet, the natural modalities had been virtually ignored in any public discussion on AIDS. So it was at their urging that a comprehensive press conference be held to invite as many from the mainstream and independent media outlets to learn about the remarkable progress to treat individuals who were HIV-positive and/or afflicted with AIDS conditions. Preparation for the conference took almost a year of research, networking, and promotion.
What should have been a medically historical press conference was announced to the public on three separate occasions. A leading public relations firm was hired to help turn this into a momentous event. Over 100 AIDS patients convened with their private medical doctors and medical records in New York City. The majority of the physicians were not directly connected with Null’s Tri-State Healing Center. Some were from France, Japan and the UK. Among the many patients who were being treated for AIDS conditions with natural protocols, these 100 men were chosen because of the extraordinary results being observed over a 12-month period with their blood exam results, viral load, and CD4 and CD8 cell counts.
In each of the hundred cases, the patient showed steady improvement without any sign of relapse. Moreover, none of them were on the conventional AZT drug regimen or other drug cocktails that were being regularly prescribed. What was unique among this group, they, along with over 1,200 other HIV-infected persons, were being treated with a variety of different non-drug alternative treatment protocols based upon their personal medical histories and lifestyles.
The protocols included botanicals and medicinal herbs, naturopathic remedies, intravenous drips of the antioxidants glutathione and Vitamin C in addition to oral supplementation, oxygen and ozone therapies, detoxification regimens, stress reduction and behavior modification techniques, and almost all were following a plant-based diet. Unlike the conventional philosophy for treatment at that time, Null and his medical colleagues were not simply trying to stage a war against a virus with pharmaceutical drugs; instead their approach was to restore and increase patients’ natural immunity in order to strengthen the body’s own defense mechanisms to fight the infection. Moreover, by 1993, it was already certain, without any reasonable doubt, that the antiretroviral drugs were linked with a long list of serious adverse effects, including severe anemia, acute liver toxicity, renal failure and death. To support the medical efficacy of these natural interventions, the peer-reviewed medical literature was also collated and on-hand during the press gathering for easy reference.
There was a great deal of experimentation taking place at Null’s Center. It can best be thought of as a patient laboratory because there was no single medical protocol that was used for all patients. On the other hand, some treatments were standard for those showing the most severe symptoms and the worst cell counts. This included weekly intravenous infusions of high-dose vitamin C and glutathione. Other essential treatments included radical dietary changes to eating only wholesome foods, preferably all plant-based, and incorporating stress reduction practices in patients’ daily routine.
To the surprise of Dr. Null and the AIDS patients and their personal physicians, barely a person showed up for the press conference from the 7,000 invitations sent to the press, medical associations, university medical departments, state and city health officials, nonprofit organizations and AIDS groups. The invitations had been sent on three separate occasions because Null and his colleagues, as well as the patients, believed this could mark an historical breakthrough for treating HIV-positive patients. According to Null and others who organized the event, it seemed evident that a concerted effort had been made to boycott the presentation in order to marginalize its significance. And significant it was — not only for giving scientific evidence that AIDS can be treated by natural and non-toxic medical protocols, but also for the important role and respect non-conventional medicine should have in our society.
Unfortunately federal, state and city health officials had already made a firm decision that the only effective strategy to combat the AIDS epidemic was the pharmaceutical route. AZT had already been designated as the treatment of first-line defense. Therefore it was incumbent upon government officials, the National Cancer Institute and the medical establishment to marginalize any competitors offering safer and more effective methods. Oddly President Reagan, who had been mute about the epidemic up until the public announcement of AZT, made his first public speech calling AIDS “public enemy number one.” And the mainstream media was completely on board with perpetuating this fallacy.
As a result, Dr. Null’s and his colleagues’ press conference was largely unattended. The mainstream and even alternative press was absent. Patients spent the entire afternoon orally presenting their own testimonials, showing their records and having their physicians speak about the remarkable improvements they observed; but the findings presented largely remained a secret from the rest of the world. Fortunately the testimonials and conversations of the event were recorded and preserved.
This story would be sorely lacking without mentioning a few media personalities who exhibited journalistic integrity and an open, inquisitive mind that is absolutely critical for accurate, balanced, and unbiased reporting of events, discoveries, and news that have helped shape the nation since its founding. Today’s mainstream media is a ghostly perversion of the entire profession of reliable journalism.
HIV infection had been increasing dramatically in the African American community. Since African Americans gradually took on the burden of representing an increasing percentage of HIV-positive cases, Null’s Tri-State Healing Center eventually became a lively gathering spot for HIV infected African Americans who were undergoing treatment, received counseling and meeting in health support groups. When the Center first opened its doors, only a handful of African American AIDS patients would visit. The Center had a seven-day a week open door policy and remained open until midnight. Patients were consulted by a staff of doctors, nurses, dietitians, other alternative health practitioners and counselors. There were no restraints on cost for treatment. Null always had a large African American listenership during his radio broadcasts. It started when medical doctors in Harlem began to refer the Center to their patients. The first few HIV-positive African American men eventually returned to robust health. Five years later approximately half of the Center’s patients were African American. The Center was frequented by soul singer Isaac Hayes and activist Stokley Carmichael who lent their presence to provide additional support to patients.
Oddly, it was the African American journalists and news reporters who made the courageous and concerted effort to investigate and report on the remarkable success stories coming out of the Center. All of New York City’s premier magazines and newspapers — such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Esquire, etc. — as well as all of the major radio and television outlets remained in their habitual hypnotic trance over the official voices coming out of Washington’s federal citadels aligned with the pharmaceutical industry. Nor did anyone from the city’s health commission appear.
Doug Henderson, mentioned above, invited Bill Tatum, chief executive and publisher of the New York Amsterdam News, which served New York’s African American community. Tatum would make regular visits to the Center. He made efforts to query patients, hear their testimonials and examine the medical records to acquire both personal and scientific proof as to whether the Center’s pioneering therapies were more beneficial and effective than what was being prescribed in conventional doctors’ offices.
Henderson was also a close friend of the world tennis star Arthur Ashe. Ashe was HIV positive, which is believed to be due to a blood transfusion while undergoing heart bypass surgery. Henderson provided Ashe with copies of the medical records of Null’s patients who had seroconverted and asked him if he would be willing to try an alternative protocol. Ashe replied he “would be crazy not to.” Ashe remained committed to antiretroviral drugs. On the last occasion he spoke with Null, he said that he would prefer to only adopt a natural protocol but didn’t want to disappoint his doctor. Ashe died in 1993 from AIDS-related pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Other African American journalists who were unafraid of ridicule from the medical establishment and invited Null on their programs to discuss natural treatments against AIDS were Emmy Award-winning Bill McCreary from New York City’s Channel 5 and radio broadcaster Earl Caldwell, who rose to fame as a New York Times journalist who reported from within the Black Panther organization. McCreary twice had Null on his program, one time with a couple who were dying from AIDS but completely reversed their condition at the Center. Caldwell would later write an article for the Daily News entitled, “Doc: How Ashe Could Have Evaded AIDS,” and acknowledged Null’s work.
But the most noteworthy African American journalist who made a brave decision to investigate the extraordinary results at Null’s Center was the legendary Emmy Award-winning television personality Tony Brown, host of the long-running syndicated PBS program Tony Brown’s Journal. Brown was one of the pioneers in HIV/AIDS journalism who was unafraid to ask the difficult questions that challenged the medical orthodoxy at that time. He was also recognized as one of the nation’s leading African American intellectuals. Brown accommodated controversial voices on his program who would present an alternative way at looking at society’s challenges and crises.
Brown heard about Null’s treatments from Arthur Ashe; what he heard encouraged him to undertake approximately 3-4 months of careful and meticulous investigation into The Center’s AIDS patients and their medical records before being convinced of the scientific legitimacy of the treatments. Over the next several years eight patients were invited to appear on his national television program with Dr. Null on six separate occasions. Moreover Null had been working almost every day with these specific individuals for over four years. One program profiled a man named Louie, who submitted medical records showing that he experienced a life-affirming reversal of AIDS and all of its conditions including seroconverting positive to negative.
Due to Null’s years of being an adversary to the official dogma that anti-HIV drug cocktails are the only recourse for HIV-positive individuals, he has been wrongfully labeled as an “AIDS denialist” by the medical establishment, the pro-drug AIDS advocacy organization ACT-UP, and Wikipedia. The truth is otherwise. Null is on record about his stance regarding HIV and AIDS. He has stated:
“Because I challenged the safety and efficacy of AZT and called into question the science behind conventional AIDS treatment, I was personally attacked as an AIDS denialist, which I categorically deny. There is no debate that HIV exists and that it attacks the immune system. What is still up for debate is whether pharmaceutical drugs are the complete answer.”
Speaking on the issue how the term “denialist” has become politically used to disparage anyone who questions the cause or treatment of AIDS, Henderson has remarked,
“Denialists are people who don’t believe that HIV causes AIDS. Gary never said that. If he did I would not support him on that. But what he is saying, and what the discoverer of the HIV Luc Montagnier said that it is not the sole cause. There are cofactors that contribute [to it]… At the premier of his film on Pain, Profit and Politics of AIDS at New York’s Walter Reed Theater in 1992, Null explained to a packed house that in one study with about 5,000 people with full blown AIDS, about 50 percent of them did not have a trace of the HIV virus in their system. Therefore it could not be the sole reason for a person developing AIDS from HIV.”
Unlike many of his most vocal critics, Null has actually been unknowingly treating HIV-positive people before the virus was first identified and then knowingly with similar but modified natural protocols thereafter. Unlike his opponents, he believed there may be a better and more effective way to not only treat AIDS without the risks of severe drug adverse effects but also simultaneously improve patients’ lives. Today, HIV-positive patients will consume many years of antiretroviral drugs before they can wean themselves, if at all, away from them. All synthetic medications accumulate in the body over time and increase the potential for long-term toxic effects. Null’s Center on the other hand was able to completely treat some patients within a year. Unlike the scientific materialists and reductionists who dominate American medicine, Null also espoused a mind-body worldview. The mind-body theory remains a heated debate within the medical community and the chapter is far from being closed on the issue. Nevertheless research during the past decade has strengthened the support for our psychology’s ability to improve health and fight disease. This too has pushed Null on the medical fringes, along with many hundreds of other alternative physicians and researchers who have contributed important insights and discoveries into safely treating illnesses.
After working for many years with people with AIDS-defining conditions — before the term AIDS appeared and after the launch of AZT — Null had gained far more clinical experience than that of the majority of American doctors. His clinical work and counseling has resulted in over twenty articles on living with as an HIV-positive person and a 750 page reference book with nearly 100 pages about treating AIDS naturally. His documentary Living with AIDS Naturally: The Real Heroes, chronicles the story of AIDS patients in the nineties that did not respond well to orthodox therapy but improved after incorporating natural holistic protocols to their treatment programs.
In conclusion, in one of the most Orwellian arguments, the single person in the nation who has actually reversed AIDS illnesses and seroconverted 18 patients from positive to negative was Gary Null. This has been reported and recorded by journalists reviewing the medical records, blood exams and personal patient interviews with the very people Null treated. It was also independently validated by scientists and medical staff. No one coming through the Tri-State Healing Center died for the reasons they entered through its doors. Rather their health remarkably improved. This is information that should be shared globally. To the detriment of the country’s health, federal health officials, the pharmaceutical industry, AIDS advocacy organizations, the media and Wikipedia do not want this message to be heard. As a result, the enemies of health have attempted to kill the messenger by labeling him an AIDS denier. Nevertheless, none of our AIDS pundits such as Robert Gallo or Anthony Fauci can add to their resumes that they reversed severe AIDS conditions either with a drug or even by natural means. This was a feat Null had accomplished.