The film House of Numbers has had some quite mainstream backers including (for a brief time) an journalist at the New Humanist magazine.

In House of Numbers, an AIDS film like no other, the HIV/AIDS story is being rewritten. This is the first film to present the uncensored POVs of virtually all the major players[...]

What is the evidence agains House of Numbers, and AIDS denialists in general?

  • To moderators here using name calling such as 'denalist' is ok. You don't agree with us, you're in denial. But if you for some reason try to label the group, using a word to accurately describe their behavior (conformism), your comments gets censored.
    – user8150
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 17:45
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    @dan, the word “denialist” is used uniformly to describe somebody who denies something against better wisdom; in this case: against an overwhelming amount of high-quality scientific evidence which has led to a consensus in a field. That is not the same as name-calling. Neither is “conformist”, when used appropriately: which does not mean somebody who follows a consensus of said evidence, but someone who follows a consensus without regarding, or looking for, contradicting evidence. Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 9:18
  • What's roughly the case of "House of Numbers"?
    – Christian
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 20:18
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    The title of this question doesn't match the body. Are you asking "Does this film deny that HIV causes AIDS?" or "Is there evidence that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, as posed in this film?"
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 15:30
  • Very related: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/10435/…
    – nico
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


The evidence against the belief that HIV doesn't cause AIDS (claimed by AIDS denialists and the film) is the evidence for HIV as a cause for AIDS. There is strong evidence for this, including:

  • In all parts of the world, people with AIDS also have HIV.

  • If people who have HIV (which can be determined as reliably as any viral infection) are not treated, they show signs of AIDS within 5-10 years.

  • People who have HIV infected blood transfusions develop AIDS and people who have blood transfusions not infected by HIV don't.

  • Most children who develop AIDS are born to HIV-infected mothers. The higher the viral load in the mother, the greater the risk of the child becoming infected

  • In the laboratory, HIV infects the exact type of white blood cell that becomes depleted in people with AIDS.

  • Drugs that block HIV replication in the test tube also reduce virus load in people and delay progression to AIDS. Where available, treatment has reduced AIDS mortality by more than 80%.


  • 1. In all parts of the world, people with HIV do not have AIDS. 2. Lots of people live with HIV without "treatment" and they do not show any signs of AIDS. 3. Most children who develop AIDS are on HIV medication (that randomly attacks RNA in your body and thus creates AIDS). 4 and 5. I have to read those studies.
    – user8150
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 15:01
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    @dan-klasson An answer with sources would be more helpful than an unsourced comment. Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 3:51
  • This answer was posted before the requirement for references was enforced. Please help it by adding references.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 15:28
  • @user8150 - just saw your comment from a year ago, but I'm very curious about your point 3. If Aids is caused by HIV medication, then without HIV medication there would not be Aids, therefore HIV medication would never have been invented. Isn't that just common sense?
    – Mark
    Commented Jul 20, 2013 at 13:54
  • @user8150 is what we call a troll. Stay far away. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 1:51

AIDS and / or HIV denialaists continuously spew out the same re-iteretd nonsense time and time again, even when presented with strong evidence to the contrary. Some examples:

Retroviruses do not kill the cells they infect.

Answwer: a+Agreed, many retroviruses do not kill the cells they infect but some do, including HIV as well as FIV.

Here are just two of myriads of scientific studies showing that HIV killd T-lymphocytes:

Laurent-Crawford AG, Krust B, Muller S, Rivière Y, Rey-Cuillé MA, Béchet JM, Montagnier L, Hovanessian AG. Virology. 1991 Dec;185(The cytopathic effect of HIV is associated with apoptosis.2):829-39.

Apoptosis as a mechanism of cell death in cultured T lymphoblasts acutely infected with HIV-1. Terai C, Kornbluth RS, Pauza CD, Richman DD, Carson DA. J Clin Invest. 1991 May;87(5):1710-5.

Histol Histopathol. 1986 Jan;1(1):43-7.

Denilaist often claim there are no Electron Micrographs of HIV. Again, nonsense.


Morphologic and immunoelectronmicroscopic identification of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III). Timár J, Nagy K, Lapis K. 1st Inst. of Pathol. and Exptl. Canc. Res., Semmelweis Med. Univ., Budapest, Hungary.

Virus isolation from and identification of HTLV-III/LAV-producing cells in brain tissue from a patient with AIDS. Gartner S, Markovits P, Markovitz DM, Betts RF, Popovic M. JAMA. 1986 Nov 7;256(17):2365-71.

The morphology of human immunodeficiency virus particles by negative staining electron microscopy. Stannard LM, van der Riet FD, Moodie JW. J Gen Virol. 1987 Mar;68 ( Pt 3):919-23.

Their other arguments are just as spurious.

  • 2
    Welcome to Skeptics! It isn't clear whether you are addressing the claims made in the film, or just claims generally. If you are addressing the question, please explain where in the film these claims are made. If you are not directly addressing the question, this is off-topic.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 15:32

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