1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    US Patent 5676977 has been shared around the internet with the claim that "the government owns a cure for AIDS". This is wrong on two counts:

    1. It's not a cure for a AIDS. It's just a patent for some speculative use of colloidal sliver to zap the HIV virus which has never been shown to work.
    2. The government does not own the patent. It's owned by alternative medicine salesman Marvin S. Antelman​

    Patents don't mean something works. There are patents for teleportation devices, and space warping interstellar spaceships. In this case we've got a patent owned by Marvin S. Antelman, and is basically saying "use the thing I patented in 1992", which is a rather bizarre idea where crystals zap bacteria and viruses by what amounts to little more than wishful thinking. There are no studies investigating if it works, and the the suggested explanation involves just drawing some lines between a molecule and a bacterium.

    Antleman sells his "cures" on his web site, so it's not like the "cure" is unavailable, there is just no evidence that it works.

    It basically appears to be ordinary quackery. His web site does have a link to "Scientific Proof Colloidal Silver Kills", but if you click on it you get a "Page not Found" error.

    And just to be clear, the ".gov" at the end of the address does not mean "the government" has anything. That's just the patent office. The actual patent is owned by Marvin S. Antelman. There are actually quite a few similar patents for cures available as patents, including a rather bizarre one that involves washing the soul with satellites:


    And there are many "cures" for cancer, including one by Antelman.

    A classic name for fake medicine is "snake oil", and looking through the cancer "cures" there's a variant of this. "Snake Powder" involving powdered rattlesnakes:
    Again, patents don't mean the thing that is patented works. The only thing a patent means is that someone is trying, one way or another, to make money from an idea.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
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  2. Josh Heuer

    Josh Heuer Active Member

    (Admin: The above summary post was added by @Mick West. Original first post and subsequent discussion follows)

    I bumped into this one on Facebook, someone posted a meme to 'google 5676977' so I did. And lo and behold, the first link is to a .gov website talking about a cure for AIDS.


    I haven't the technical knowledge to debunk the patent itself as being legitimately useful, but instincts alone told me patent = not significant reason to believe there is a cure. There have been many discussions here on patents and how just because something is patented, doesn't mean it's even a real thing or currently practical.

    Note: while there is no claim per se in the meme, it is somewhat implied (by people who use it) that the government has a cure for AIDS and is stopping it from being public knowledge. The claim itself would be the patent existing (which I believe has expired? Correct me if I'm wrong.)

    Any input is highly appreciated.

    UPDATE: Covered in this thread at JREF, back in 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2014
  3. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    There is a good article on Rationalwiki about Tetrasil


  4. Eirikr

    Eirikr New Member

    It's taken care of quite well in this forum: http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62835
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2014
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  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  6. Josh Heuer

    Josh Heuer Active Member

    Thanks, @Eirikr
    @Mick West /mods, perhaps you could edit the JREF link into the OP? It won't let me edit the post. Might as well change the title to 'debunked' as well. Thanks folks.

    Edit: thanks for the update
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014
  7. Miles Bloomer

    Miles Bloomer New Member

    There exist patents regarding the transportation of spacecraft to Mars, and patents addressing the colonization of Mars but that is not to say that the government are sending astronauts to Mars right now. A patent is a patent - conspiracy theorists however misinterpret their worth and view them as the holy grail of whatever conspiracy they are willing to submit. They are practically synonymous to a certain group of people who dub aluminium quantification in soil as evidence for chemtrails (when in reality, aluminium is a very common element, composing 7% of the dry weight of soil - nothing abnormal; it's been that way before there were aircraft).

    In conclusion, this is concerning mis-interpretation. AIDs-related illness costs the government millions (>£750,000 in the UK alone) annually - it would make no sense to postpone a proven treatment.

    Further reading:

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  8. CeruleanBlu

    CeruleanBlu Active Member

    Myles Power just posted a link about this on reddit in the /r/skeptic section, they brought up a good point in the comments.
  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There was a little twitter storm today of people passing this around:
  10. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I googled the number 5676977. Low and behold the patent popped up. Why do those applying for the patent choose to word the Abstract as if they found the cure by using diamagnetic semiconducting molecular crystal tetrasilver tetroxide(Ag.sub.4 O.sub.4). Are patents typically written like this because the language in the abstract for the layman implies that they indeed found a cure? I understand this isn't a cure, I'm just trying to understand why language like this is chosen upon applying for patents.
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The person who wrote that is claiming they have a cure.
  12. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    So what comes first the trials or the patents for medically related patents.
  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

  14. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    I think my favorite part is that the genius cure is closer to "reviled" ("REVIELED") than revealed...

    Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 7.47.20 AM.
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  15. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I read that, and understand they mean nothing. My contention isn't with the claim, its with how the patent is written. To a layman, and this is possibly why these patents circulate to a certain extent in the CT world, are written as if a cure was in fact discovered. The abstract leads one (layman) to believe that this silver oxide can cure HIV. I know anyone can file a patent, and a large percentage of them are bogus or unworkable, but I was trying to allude to the reason why these patents possibly get as much momentum as they do..
  16. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    So? That's what the patent is about, claiming that it cures HIV/AIDS. It does not mean it has actually been show to do so, or that any of the claims made are real.
  17. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I agree, I was just trying to point out why CTers and others possibly fall for this stuff. Their lack of understanding about the patent process, and or the language used in patents
  18. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    Someone should set up some kind of, oh, "debunking" site that explains that patents are often meaningless...
    then surely we'd see a swift end to CTers falling for wacky things......
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  19. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Well it essentially an advertisement for their invention, so they would 'sell' it. It's not a scientific evaluation.
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  20. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I totally agree and I think (believe) these patents are written with that in mind. A sales pitch is the priority since these patents are open to the public for review, and then it is interlaced with scientific vernacular and or mathematics to make it seem more credible. I think those who read these patents and believe they are authentic and workable don't understand that aspect of it.
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  21. Thomas

    Thomas Member

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  22. SaveAmerica1776

    SaveAmerica1776 New Member

    You can't really be serious in thinking that you have debunked anything here. AIDS is man-made, Henry Kissinger gave and signed the order to create it.

    This is just a tool, not a cure. Your natural immune system is the cure, if anything. This is just a tool to give to the body to use against the retro-virus.

    So if anything, you trolled here, to tell people that it's not a "cure". Well you've been trolled hard, congratulations.

    BTW, I'm the one that started the twitter trend hahahahaha

    TROLLED BY ME :) Then I see that you went for it.
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  23. Thomas

    Thomas Member

    You are talking about NSSM 200?
  24. Thomas

    Thomas Member

    To answer my own question. NSSM 200 is used in these claims afaik...and there is nothing in there greenlighting AIDS by Kissinger to decimate world population. It's a depressing read though.
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  25. charley

    charley New Member

    As we all know sickness, cancer, AIDS - these are extremely profitable illnesses and therefore the greedy banksters and American medical association will never release any cures for anything. They make millions on treatment. The banksters own the big pharma corps who make all the drugs. Healing and useful remedies are strictly off limits.
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  26. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    What evidence do have that there are cures for AIDS or cancer that are not being released because of greed?
  27. Gundersen

    Gundersen Active Member

    Further to above, are there any evidence available showing any cure ever being withheld due to financial gain?

    Imagine if another company released the cure. Imagine how much money you would make with a cure. Sure, a few pills or an injection would be relatively cheap compared to a continues treatment, but there are 14.000.000 new cases per year, which is expected to rise to over 23.000.000 new cases per yer in two decades.
    Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/

    A patent normally exist for 20 years. Which means that the medical company who invented and patented the cure will have exclusivity for 20 years. That is at least 280.000.000 potential customers (14.000.000 x 20 years). I say potential customers, but who would option to not buy the cure? Furthermore, as mentioned before, the number is expected to rise.

    This is purely speculative, but let's imagine a simple cure which would consist of either a few pills, injections or a combination. I imagine it would not be just one visit at the doctor, let's for arguments sake say it would take 5 treatments spread over a year. Each treatment would use the drugs priced at 100 USD. That is 500 USD per cancer patient.

    14.000.000 x 500 USD = USD / year x 20 years = USD in the lifetime of the patent

    According to Fierce Pharma the top cancer drug earned USD in 2011, which is half of the above-mentioned example.
    I know the above example contains some rough estimates, but my point is that I can't imagine anybody in the pharmaceutical industry believing it would be profitable to not sell a cancer cure. They would risk somebody else developing a cure and taking all their earnings (both from treatment and cure) away from them.

    A few companies could go down in revenue if they chose to sell a cancer cure, but you have to take the risk of somebody else inventing the cure into account, together with how much they could save in R&D or allocate R&D into new business areas. Roche spend USD on research in 2010. Source: http://www.fiercebiotech.com/specia...-rd-spenders/roche-worlds-biggest-rd-spenders
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  28. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    Anyone who thinks treatment is more profitable than cure has never had to pay for a non-routine prescription while it's still under patent. I needed some specialty drug after I got poisoned by some invertebrate that got into my aquarium on a rock, and I had to pay monthly on that single dose for two years.

    Some googling shows that the above mentioned Rituaxan can run $13,000 per infusion and is administered over a period of up to six months. One patient provides hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in revenue for the drug company.

    If they did not have the drug, they'd make about zero dollars for the pharmaceutical companies. Sure, they'd spend the remainder of their life loaded up on pain pills and regular prescriptions to manage symptoms, but even a top shelf pharmacopoeia of those drugs is not $13,000. The stay in the hospital might hit that much, but it will be paid either way, and doesn't go to the pharmaceutical companies, it goes to the hospital, many of which are backed by charity or municipal bond and do not operate at profit from services alone.

    And when a drug is coming off of patent, there's a lot of tricks to get it back on patent. The most common one is to package it with another drug that's commonly given alongside it and deliver both in a single dose. New patent, new 20 years of exclusivity, and you've got an army of salespeople out there giving doctors free lunches and office supplies so they exclusively prescribe it. So in a few years when Rituaxan's patent expires, they might just mix in something to counteract the drop in blood pressure or nausea, up the price to $14,000, and buy themselves another 20 years as the top chemo drug on the market.

    And even if it does expire and your sales slip as generics come on the market, pharmaceutical companies don't care that much. Because you've still got that army of salespeople giving out free stuff to doctors and stretching the boundaries of advertising law by spreading doubt in the generics' efficacy. And, worse comes to worse, the markup on these major revenue drugs is on the order of 500,000% anyway.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  29. notafraidofreality

    notafraidofreality New Member

    I believe if this guy actually read the patent, then he couldn't possibly state the points he laid out, that "1. It's not a cure for a AIDS. It's just a patent for some speculative use of colloidal sliver to zap the HIV virus which has never been shown to work.
    2. The government does not own the patent. It's owned by alternative medicine salesman Marvin S. Antelman"

    first of all, the patent claims to be the cure for aids, it says it in the title of the patent

    "Method of curing AIDS with tetrasilver tetroxide molecular crystal devices"

    that doesnt say the speculative use of colloidal silver to zap hiv.. how deluted do you have to be, to not read the patent, or its title even and to just make stuff up?


    .. and the details of patent actually tell of human trials that worked, so unlike someone else's inane analogy, of technology that hypothetically travels to mars, the patent itself states the times the cure has worked and not just to zap HIV but how it cured full blown aids as long as the person wasnt too far gone from the damage to their body.. its in the patent, literally because of course, you dont patent a cure for something if you dont know it works lol and the patent itself is actually attached to a chain of patents that starts all the way back in 1983 and the assignee of the patent is the secretary of the army and this followed by several patents by others, before it was continued on by atnleman... so tell me, how can you debunk something if you havnt even read the title let alone the patent? dont mislead people please because you are afraid of reality or you lack a functioning intellect.
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  30. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    How is that different from this patent, which claims to be a "life-saving innovation which utilizes Mind controls/Voice activated Satellite Technology to cure HIV disease of the Soul"?


    Both are claims. Both are totally unproven.

    Well actually it makes that claim but it totally fails to provide any substantive data for the control group. All you get is a table of data for the patients treated with Tetrasil:

    Meaningless, both due to the incredibly small sample size and the lack of control.

    The patent also quotes US Patent 5,336,499, which does not mention human trials, only in vitro tests.


    It's easy to kill the AIDS virus outside the body. Even a slight adjustment of pH is enough to kill it. http://www.aidsmap.com/Survival-outside-the-body/page/1321278/

    like the patent to cure HIV of the Soul? lol indeed.

    You seem not to understand how patent citations work. See the asterisks? That means the citation was added by the patent EXAMINER (not the applicant) because it is a related patent.


    The patent you mention, US4415565 is the one assigned to the Secretary of the Army, but it discusses an entirely different antiviral compound, silver metachloridine. Metachloridine dates back to the 1940s:



    Metachloridine is an organic compound, one of the class of antimicrobials known as sulfonamides:


    The silver salt is really just a delivery method: many organic molecules are given as metal salts, to make them more soluble and active. It's the metachloridine that is the active ingredient.

    By contrast, tetrasil is just an inorganic silver oxide, Ag4O4, with no organic antibiotic agent.

    And finally and most importantly, nobody is suppressing sales of tetrasil. You can buy it as pool disinfectant, among other uses.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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  31. jonnyH

    jonnyH Active Member

    It is pretty much what the patent is saying here though:

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  32. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    It's a long time since my chemistry degree, but this idea of "nano electrocution" sounds very specious. The idea seems to be that electrons will pass from an Ag(I) atom to an Ag(III) atom in the crystal lattice, via the cell wall of the virus. I've had a quick look through the literature and the only papers that reference this idea are by Antelman himself or other patents that mention them. To say it's a fringe idea would seem to be putting it kindly.
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  33. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    A more recent paper is here. It still quotes the Antelman patent, suggesting that this is the only tetrasil (or "silver oxide hydrosol", as it is called here) study with AIDS patients in vivo.

    http://www.omicsonline.org/use-of-s...ols-a-research proposal-2157-7439.1000127.pdf

    This 2012 paper is a "research proposal", proposing further study. Its very existence is pretty good evidence that nothing is being covered-up or suppressed when it comes to studying silver compounds to treat HIV.
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  34. Ray Von Geezer

    Ray Von Geezer Senior Member

    I think Mick and others showed pretty clearly why the existence of a patent doesn't necessarily mean that the invention actually works, or that the claims contained within it are true. Contrary to your belief, lots of things get patented that may not (or definitely don't) work, hence the examples of other similar patents given. My personal favourite is the patent for growing a unicorn :)

    The test results claimed in the patent are for an incredibly small group (I can only imagine the outcry if a pharmaceutical company tried to push a medicine to market based on such a test), don't meet the criteria for a medical test, and don't appear to have been subject to proper publication and/or peer review.

    I've been unable to trace any further information on the tests, but did find the following from the "Compassion Response Network", to whom Antelman donated 6 courses of his "cure" in 2003/4. Results are given for two of three test subjects (the third subject was rejected), but whether they actually carried out tests with the remaining 4 courses doesn't seem to be documented.

    Again, like Antelman's results, this is a very small and uncontrolled test group, but does include much more thorough information on the method and results..

    (Site is defunct, links from archive.org)



    Ray Von
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  35. TerrancePhillip

    TerrancePhillip New Member

    Let it just be that this current day they are recruiting to build a colony on mars..
  36. Spectrar Ghost

    Spectrar Ghost Senior Member

    For a Mars One mission in 2025.
    Or a SpaceX mission in 2026.
    Or a NASA mission in 2035.

    All this shows is it's much easier to get to Mars than cure AIDS...
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  37. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    They are probably getting closer to curing AIDS also.