This is the first conspiracy theory I heard, many years before I started seriously researching them. Back when I was a Math grad student, there was an author named Serge Lang. He wrote a bunch of Math textbooks in many different areas. He also mentioned the HIV/AIDs conspiracy theory.
Many people were denouncing Serge Lang as a crackpot, for venturing beyond Mathematics and writing about other things. That’s one lesson I learned from blogging. The more hostility an idea receives, the more it points at a forbidden truth.
The HIV/AIDS conspiracy theory is “The HIV virus does not cause AIDS. It is a ‘correlation confused with causation’ fallacy. HIV is one of the opportunistic viruses that infect AIDS patients. People have received a ton of government money researching AIDS. At this point, it would be an embarrassment if they admitted that HIV might not cause AIDS.”
There is one way to seriously investigate this. The HIV test could be given to everyone. However, that is politically awkward.
The HIV test is only given to people who already show symptoms of AIDS, or to people who have other risk factors. That leads to bias, and the potential for making the correlation/causation mistake.
For example, do drug addicts get AIDS because of HIV? Do they get AIDS because they’re drug addicts?
If a patient tests positive for HIV, they are given anti-retrovirus drugs. Those drugs are very strong and nasty. Do HIV positive people get sick due to HIV? Do they get sick because of those strong drugs?
Occasionally, you hear stories about someone who is HIV-positive, doesn’t take drugs, but doesn’t develop AIDS. Do these people have some type of immunity? Maybe HIV does not cause AIDS?
I don’t know if this conspiracy theory is true or not. I don’t have the resources to conduct a proper experiment.
Does HIV cause AIDS? Is it an example of the “coorelation confused with causation” fallacy? HIV researchers received a lot of State grant money. It might be too embarrassing to admit a mistake. There’s plenty of State grant money for HIV research, but no grant money for research on “Maybe HIV does not cause AIDS.”