Serious Adverse Events

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Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS (ISBN 1933633018) is a 2006 book by Celia Farber.


  • Preface: The Truth Barrier
  • Author's Note
  1. The Passion of Peter Duesberg *
  2. "Never Before in the History of Disease"
  3. A Multifactorial Syndrome?
  4. Sins of Omission *
  5. The Grey Zone
  6. What About Africa?
  7. Out of Africa *
  8. The Rebel Genius
  9. "Only Different in Degree"
  10. Science Fiction *
  11. An Era of Openness
  12. Out of Control *
* Updated since original publication.



From the book

  • "On any given story, a dominant narrative takes shape, and journalists form a herd around it. Stories that pertain to government, as AIDS does, are strictly controlled and censored. That's a given. Journalists who don't follow the herd are swiftly cut off from access to what they call 'sources.' This book is thus subtitled 'an uncensored history,' because it depends almost entirely on sources that have been censored — most especially by their own fear to speak out — and almost none on sources in government." (Farber 2006)
  • "This book is about the twenty-year war between those who believed in the death sentence and those who did not. It was, as I say, an informational war — a war of ideas, values, politics, money, power, and the ways that all of those things cast impossible shadows on what was called 'irrefutable data,' and 'overwhelming evidence.' From the ashes of that war, a new narrative is emerging, from the experiences of untold millions who fell into the net, usually by way of a single antibody test, and without any knowledge of the dissent against the official theory. The AIDS war divided those who believed and enacted its every dictum, from those who, very early on, saw a parallel reality, a sister ship loaded with a very different cargo of facts and interpretations. This could only happen at a time when the world was flooded with 'information,' and yet, mass media gained unsurpassed powers of persuasion. To question the core catechism that HIV was the single and direct cause of AIDS became an act of not only heresy, but grave moral 'irresponsibility,' finally escalating into open charges of murder. Questioning led to an abatement of fear, and the revolution was rooted in fear. HIV-positive women were counseled to abort their fetuses, and even castigated for daring to get pregnant. African men were even circumcised in great numbers, out of the belief that less surface skin meant less territory for HIV to 'enter' through." (Farber 2006)

About the book

  • "If Serious Adverse Events were a work of fiction, it would be a blockbuster: It has drama, death, disease, conspiracies, heroes, villains and martyrs. As a factual account of the history of AIDS, however, it’s going to cause a shitstorm...In a letter in response to an article Farber wrote for Harper’s, Robert Gallo, head of the Institute for Human Virology, called Farber an 'AIDS denialist' and equated her writing with denying the Holocaust. But it’s reactions like these that make Farber’s work so enticing. What exactly is it that makes this information so dangerous that adults can’t be trusted with reading and interpreting it?...In the end, Events raises intriguing questions about just how accurate the medical information we get from government sources is, and leaves the reader asking more informed questions. And in an age when new information and recommendations for treatments seem to come out every week, can one writer’s questions really be so dangerous?" – Rachel Shindelman (Shindelman 2006)
  • "Because of its catastrophic impact and the unique time and place it struck, AIDS very quickly became more than a medical story. It took on tremendous political, moral, sexual, religious, intellectual and economic significance as well, and Farber argues that these elements soon came to dominate and distort the medical science. If she's right, pretty much everything we've been told about AIDS – what it is, what causes it, how it spreads, how it may be resisted and cured – is wrong, a collusion of panic, politics and greed. AIDS became a dogma, and anyone who questioned it a heretic. At great cost to her career, Farber has questioned the dogma for 20 years. This book is a fascinating alternate history of AIDS, a chronology of how she and other 'heretics' believe it all went wrong. This is not kooky conspiracy theory. Ultimately, it's an Orwellian treatise on intellectual totalitarianism in our time." – John Strausbaugh (Strausbaugh 2006)


  1. Farber, Celia, 2006. Serious Adverse Events, "Author's Note".
  2. Ibid, "The Truth Barrier"
  3. Shindelman, Rachel, 2006. "Review of Serious Adverse Events", Time Out Chicago, Issue 74, July 27–August 3, 2006.
  4. Strausbaugh, John, 2006. Amazon review of Serious Adverse Events.