As today is World Aids Day I feel it is appropriate to point out that Gwyneth Paltrow and her crack team at GOOP are featuring Dr. Kelly Brogan, an AIDS denialist, as one of their medical experts at In GOOP Health 2018 in New York City.

In 2014, so when HIV was well-known to be the cause of AIDS (we actually knew it was the cause of AIDS when I started medical school in 1986) Brogan wrote the following post on her website:

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It is now deleted, but it is accessible here.

In this post, which I can only describe as a bizarre rambling more befitting a conspiracy theorist than a medical doctor, Brogan states that “pregnant women and their unborn” are “being targeted for unstudied interventions leveraged by paternalistic medical practitioners who seek to co-opt their inner compass.” I have a whole lot to letters after my name and honestly I don’t know what that means?

According to Brogan “that HIV causes AIDS, the equivalent of certain death” is a meme:

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Screenshot from Dr. Kelly Brogan, 2014

After reading Brogan’s flu-vaccine inner compass pregnancy musings I think she means Big Pharma and “the man” are trying to control pregnant women by faking that HIV causes AIDS to sell you medication.

Brogan actually advances the idea that a HIV trial was faked in Africa with “cooked books” with the purpose of giving toxic medication that “kills mother and their unborn.”

She also appears to not believe that HIV causes AIDS because it does not satisfy Koch’s postulates of infectious disease. She wrote that in 2014.

I have to state this one more time, because it is incredible to me, that a physician in 2014 wrote on purpose that HIV does not cause AIDS.

Perhaps Dr. Brogan was unaware in 2014 that six years earlier the 2008 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to the team who linked HIV to AIDS (as well as the scientist who linked HPV to cervical cancer). Then there is the fact that we are more than a 120 years since Koch wrote about bacteria and of course we know a lot more now  about infections than we did in 1890, after all the first virus wasn’t even discovered when Koch wrote his postulates. Perhaps Dr, Brogan doesn’t know it isn’t even correct to apply Koch’s postulates as written in 1890 to viruses given what we know today. Thomas Rivers wrote, “in regard to certain diseases, particularly those caused by viruses, the blind adherence to Koch’s postulates may act as a hindrance instead of an aid.’’

The more you know.

Dr. Brogan also wrote that the “drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.” What a disgraceful and unethical statement.

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That AIDS kills and that antiretroviral therapy saves lives is fact. This was also fact in 2014. I saw men and women die from AIDS as a medical student in the late 1980s. We only had AZT and aerosolized pentamidine and that was too often not enough. Many were admitted too late. I wonder what Dr. Brogan thinks killed the young men and women with AIDS who never received any antiretroviral therapy and suffocated from lack of oxygen due to their pneumonia ravaged lungs? Pharma induced flu?

I remember admitting young man after young man devastated with AIDS in the 1980s. I can still see their wasted arms and hear their wheezing. As a medical student we put in their intravenous lines and drew their blood. Men taller than me who probably once weighed 200 lbs. or more now shadows, their skin hanging on their bones like a suit two sizes too big. I remember calling families and getting hung up on because they wanted nothing to do with their gay son and his gay disease. As a third year medical student I once sat with a young man who was dying from AIDS because there was no one else.

How dare a doctor, of all people, deny that truth?

As for antiretrovirals and pregnancy? We have known for years that reducing the viral load is a key part of preventing newborns from getting HIV at birth and antiretroviral therapy, i.e. medications, is a cornerstone of that treatment. If we can keep the viral load in maternal plasma less than 1,000 copies per milliliter the risk of transmitting HIV is < 2%. Without antiretroviral therapy the risk of transmission of HIV during delivery is approximately 25%. Not sure how that fits with Brogan’s theory of Big Pharma scaring you away from your compass with fake AIDS for dollars.

Besides Gwyneth Paltrow here are all the people taking the stage with Dr. Kelly Brogan in January 2018 at In Goop Health.

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I wonder what Chelsea Handler or Drew Barrymore think about being associated with someone who denied that HIV causes AIDS and advanced the theory, as late as 2014, that Big Pharma invented it to control pregnant women?

Dangerous theories and pregnancy Pharma paranoia are not atypical for Brogan. Perhaps Bryce Dallas Howard or Laura Linney might want to know they are sharing the stage with someone who thinks The World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to clandestinely sterilize girls in Africa via vaccines. I mean it is almost too laughable to write, except that Tetanus in Africa is very serious health issue for pregnant women and newbornsTetanus kills 180,000 neonates a year (about 5% of all neonatal deaths) and 30,000 women (about 5% of all maternal deaths).

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When I asked Brogan about this tweet she blocked me.

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GOOP loves conspiracy theories and starting conversations, but these dangerous ideas can harm. They can lead people to decline care and in the case of transmitting HIV to a baby or neonatal or maternal tetanus the results are devastating consequences that could be preventable with modern medicine. Playing “Conspiracy theory” is not some kind of parlor game, although then again perhaps it is for rich people like Paltrow who can flirt with a few “out there” ideas for fun to be provocative at a party and consider herself a modern rebel. Maybe conspiracy theories are good for the conciegre mind medicine Brogan practices. I don’t know because I just can’t wrap my head around saying the false words “drug toxicity associated with AIDS treatment may very well be what accounts for the majority of deaths.”

Paltrow needs to ask herself what if just one pregnant woman with HIV read Brogan’s blog in 2014 and thought if a doctor says HIV is a conspiracy theory cooked up by Big Pharma then maybe I don’t needs these drugs after all? This type of real harm is something Paltrow and GOOP always gloss over when they are challenged about the safety of many of the unproven theories and therapies that they promote.

Dr. Brogan needs to answer for her claims from 2014 about HIV and AIDS (and also for her anti tetanus vaccine preaching). She has not issued any statement of retraction that I can find. Reporters need to ask the clelerbties who are attending what they think of Brogan’s HIV claims.

As for Gwyneth Paltrow and GOOP they love to talk about how they are conversation starters so perhaps they can start the conversation about why they think a physician who has denied that HIV causes AIDS, who has claimed it’s HIV medication that kills not AIDS, and who thinks anti-retroviral drugs in pregnancy are a big, fat Pharma gambit is a worthy addition to an event on health.

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  1. Wish this were Australia, where anti-vaxx freak quacks like Brogan are being stripped of their licenses overnight. Instead, in the US, they flourish, in part because no both no large medical groups will call them out and no state medical boards will sanction. Makes me ashamed of my profession.

  2. I watched a beloved, gifted fellow colleague succomb to AIDS in 1991. His wish was for our school to print and distribute a letter to all parents of our students about the currently known facts about AIDS and what was his most current and best treatment at that time. He also wanted the “myths of AIDS and HIV”with factual and research information to discredit the popular myths to be part of the informational letter. He was an educator and promoted education right up to his last breath. I am appalled that Kelly Brogan calls herself a medical Dr., when her published statements concerning AIDS and vaccines demonstrate that she is either profoundly ignorant or has a serious mental disorder, which interferes with logical thoughts and reason. She is dangerous if she is practicing medicine and seeing patients.Thank you Dr. Jen for calling out this “quack” and her association with the GOOP voodoo crew.

  3. Kelly Brogan seems to be a new iteration of the original HIV-doesn’t-cause-AIDS fraudster, the German physician Matthias Rath. I suspect he isn’t as well known elsewhere as he is in South Africa, where his ideas found fertile ground in the 2000s in the minds of the then health minister M Tshabalala-Msimang (a trained medical doctor), and the then president, Thabo Mbeki (the successor to Nelson Mandela). The usefulness of antiretrovirals was questioned, on the basis that their side-effects or “toxicity” were worse than the disease itself. The minister was called “Dr Beetroot” for promoting certain foods as immune boosters and preferable to antiretrovirals. The government neglected the patients in its public health service, in that its policies did not enable patients’ access to antiretrovirals to the extent it was really needed. An estimated 300 000 South Africans died unnecessarily from AIDS in that time. So, in South Africa, we have, horrifically, tried out this pseudoscience as de facto public health policy. It was an unmitigated disaster. HIV misinformation foments stigma, and kills. Kelly Brogan needs to sit her sorry-excuse-for-a-doctor self right down.

  4. Gwyneth does keep some strange company. Looks like she’s also hosting Dr. Eben Alexander, who, when facing expensive lawsuits, penned a spacey bestseller, “Proof of Heaven,” which describes what he experienced when he “died” during surgery. Among other trippy things, he describes flying through the afterlife on the back of a butterfly (or maybe it was Tinkerbell!) He calls himself an academic neurosurgeon because he probably can’t get near a patient. Dr. Brogan’s shenanigans are much worse.

  5. Checkout a Facebook group called ‘Rethinking Dids’ (has 12000+ members) . It’s devoted in part to encouraging HIV +ve people to ditch ARVS. The persuaders are of course HIV -ve straight white people in the main

    After reading some of the stuff on there you will wonder if the world has gone totally mad.

  6. Reaching out to Elaine Welteroth (EIC at Teen Voge) might have some impact since she was a speaker at PATH back in April, and PATH is a leader in global health including HIV and AIDS. I doubt that she would like to be associated with an AIDS denialist, given that she shared a stage with a young doctor who’s whole home town was devastated by AIDS.

  7. Jen,

    The formatting on this article in WordPress is completely messed up. I’ve attached a screenshot to show what I’m talking about. Below that, the entire block of ‘speakers’ at goop is also HUGE. I’m sure you’ll want to fix this right away.

    Thank you for what you do.


    Lydia _______________________________________ Lydia Sugarman, CEO Ph: 917.445.8637

    Markets are conversations. Make them yours. Venntive – A Full-Stack Marketing-Sales Solution

  8. I am continually amazed at the lack of science understanding out there. I’m not talking about knowing long equations or how oxygen is turned into energy by a cell, but basic stuff, how you can’t splice genes and get a hummingbird with a dog’s head, or that H with 2 Os attached has a memory, or the cells from an aborted blastocyst can transmit (bad) memories thru vaccines. There are people drinking urine…. weeks old urine… to, I dunno, “detox”? (didn’t their kidneys do that when it made the urine?) Are they TRYING to get hepatitis? These people don’t even begin to ask “How does a molecule have a memory much less transport it?” or “What IS urine…. what’s in it that benefits me after it states around for weeks? It’s all just magic! How can adults still think this way. We know Gwyneth and her crew are doing ti for the $$$$$. Despicable.

  9. One of my best friends became a registered nurse in the early 1980s, on her way to becoming a nurse practitioner. She came home from work one day and called me because she knew I had a lot of LGBT friends: “There’s something new out there that’s killing gay men. They don’t know what it is yet, or how it’s transmitted, but it’s bad. I just watched a young man die. Please tell your friends to be careful.”

    I don’t even know how many friends I’ve lost to HIV/AIDS anymore. 😦 While the medication cocktails that keep them alive have improved and life is now measured in years rather than months or weeks, I can say from experience that this is no scam.

    I don’t know how Gwyneth Paltrow can look at herself in the mirror, let alone look anyone else in the eye, and mouth this nonsense.

  10. Do they do this on purpose just to stir the pot? I mean is it a “no publicity is bad publicity” thing? I just can’t believe that they truly believe what they peddle.

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