Peter Duesberg. This professor was much admired and respected at his University of California-Berkeley campus, and has completed some incredibly respectable work. But a recent article in Discover magazine brought to light some of Duesberg’s more controversial, perhaps even unsavory, beliefs to light. Since 1986, Duesberg has been an adamant AIDS denier, believing that the illness is caused by drug use rather than by the HIV virus.
Despite a lack of evidence backing up his claims, as well as some concerns about ethics in regard to his published articles, Duesberg’s views have affected international AIDS policy, especially in South Africa. It is thought that the government’s refusal to provide anti-viral medications to AIDS patients, believing with Duesberg that their condition was not caused by a virus, led to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths.