Skeptoid PodcastSkeptoid on Facebook   Skeptoid on Twitter   Skeptoid on Stitcher   iTunes   Google Play

Members Portal

Store

 

Get a Free Book

 

SKEPTOID BLOG:

I Want to Drink a Homeopathic Preparation of HIV-Contaminated Blood

by Brian Dunning

June 12, 2014

Share Tweet Reddit

Donate "Foolhardy."

"Reckless ignorance."

"Darwin Award candidate."

These are selected phrases from the responses I've received during my private inquiries over the past couple of weeks. I've been speaking with lab managers, AIDS researchers, and doctors about my plan to make a documentary short film about drawing blood from an HIV-positive patient, properly making a 30C homeopathic dilution of it using safe, legal laboratory procedures, and then drinking it.

Shocking? No, it shouldn't be, not to anyone who understands the science, and that's the whole reason I want to do it. While in a CVS drug store the other day, I estimated that about 10% of the products in the over-the-counter drug aisle are labeled "homeopathic." That is a shocking scam on the public. By definition, these products do not contain any of their "active" ingredient; if they did, they would be drugs, and not homeopathic "preparations." A video as outrageous as this one would help to educate the public that homeopathic products are completely worthless.

"Use something less deadly," has been the common suggestion. Use something that's curable in case something goes wrong. Use something like ricin that doesn't require the handling of contaminated human blood. I am not moved by these suggestions. Using something less deadly does not shock and terrify the way HIV does. Falling back to a lesser toxin would suggest that there is some risk in doing this with HIV. The mathematical fact is that there is no risk. NO risk. Anyone who understands the science should not be concerned that there is any danger here, assuming proper laboratory procedures are followed. No substitute produces the visceral fear that HIV contaminated blood evokes.

A 30C dilution means the blood would be diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times. That's a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. We'll start with 1cc of blood and dilute it into 100cc of water, and repeat that process 30 times, which is how a homeopathic dilution of 30C is achieved (it means C, Roman numeral 100, raised to the power of 30). For each of the 30 dilutions we'll use a brand-new glass container and a brand-new pipette, and each will be properly disposed of after its single use. That original 1cc of blood may have 3,000 cells in it (fewer depending on how ill the donor is) and perhaps 1,000,000 copies of the HIV virus. Halfway through the homeopathic process, at 15C, the chance that a single blood cell will remain in the preparation is 1 in 30,000,000,000,000,000. Add another 30 zeros to that to see what the chances are by the time the preparation reaches 30C. This is not an exaggeration. This is math.

A chemically pure solution is defined by Avogadro's number, 1023. This solution will be ten trillion trillion trillion times purer than that, if we define purity as meaning free of the original blood. Every 30C homeopathic product is just as free of its so-called "active" ingredients.

There is no risk, at all, in this demonstration. No doctor, mathematician, statistician, or homeopath should be — in the slightest — concerned about its safety, when proper lab procedures are followed. But so far, all that I have spoken to have used language like that at the beginning of this post. Science fans are quick to criticize homeopathy, but when it comes to actually drinking a preparation of HIV-contaminated blood, most are reluctant to put their money where their mouth is. The result? Homeopathic products continue to thrive in the marketplace; enriching charlatans, preying on the sick, and eroding the public intellect.

So let's talk about where I am in this process.

Basically, I've been stonewalled at every step. No lab will participate, even when I assure them the project will have a budget and their lab costs will be covered. Liability and ethics are proving to be the downfall. I need three things:
  1. An HIV positive patient to donate the blood. So far, this has not been a problem. There are many HIV positive skeptics willing to help the cause of scientific skepticism and consumer protection.

  2. A lab that will do this, preferably in southern California. I will pay all expenses like any other customer. There are laws and rules governing the handling of HIV contaminated blood, and I need a lab who will handle all of that.

  3. Money to pay for the above. It will run in the low five-figures, including the lab costs and the film production. This can be crowdfunded, but I'd rather work with discreet private donors. The lab needs to be secured first. If it can be, and private donors have not stepped up, I'll set up a crowdfunding project if I can find a crowdfunding site that will accept this (problematic in itself).

If you can help with any of the above, please email me privately at brian@skeptoid.com. I will do this, if I can have your help.

by Brian Dunning

Share Tweet Reddit

@Skeptoid Media, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

 

 

 

Donate