A Great Future Behind It
The Yin and Yang of HIV
By Valendar Turner & Andrew
Published over three issue of NEXUS Magazine beginning January 1999
The notion that HIV/AIDS is infectious and sexually transmitted is
based on a relationship between antibodies claimed specifically induced
by a retrovirus HIV and particular diseases in certain risk groups.
However, the HIV theory has been challenged for well over a decade in
many scientific publications, principally by Peter Duesberg from the USA
and Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and her colleagues in Australia. Failure
of HIV/AIDS to spread beyond the original risk groups, and particularly
to Western heterosexuals, especially non-drug using prostitutes, signals
that the HIV theory of AIDS is in need of urgent reappraisal. This has
serious implications for both the way science has been conducted and
public health policy and planning. The HIV theory has cost billions of
dollars and locked in enormous amount of energy in research by thousands
of scientists worldwide. So far, it has yet to save a single life. There
is an urgent need to establish a truly independent, and distinguished
international committee to review the current theories and those that
challenge them. There needs to be a co-operative but urgent reassessment
A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It
must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a
model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make
definite predictions about the results of future observations.
A BRIEF HISTORY
A Nobel Laureate stirs the waters
In 1988 Dr. Kary Mullis, the 1993 Nobel prize winner for Chemistry
was employed by the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) to set up
analyses for HIV testing. When preparing his report he asked a
virologist colleague for a reference that HIV is "the probable cause of
AIDS". He was told he did not need one. Mullis was surprised.(1)
"I disagreed. It was totally remarkable to me that the
individual who had discovered the cause of a deadly and as-yet-uncured
disease would not be continually referenced in the scientific papers
until that disease was cured and forgotten… There had to be a
published paper, or perhaps several of them, which taken together
indicated that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS". Otherwise, as
Mullis was forced to conclude, "The entire campaign against a disease
increasingly regarded as the twentieth-century Black Death was based
on a hypothesis whose origins no one could recall. That defied both
scientific and common sense".
A decade later Mullis was to
write, "I finally understood why I was having so much trouble finding
the references that linked HIV to AIDS. There weren’t any".(2) Indeed,
an interested non-specialist observer, armed with a few contacts and a
good library, merely has to scratch the surface to realise that the HIV
theory of AIDS begs many more questions than it answers.(1-63 *)
The beginnings of AIDS
The few years leading up to the AIDS era and the discovery of HIV are
illuminating. It was a time when a promiscuous minority of young,
"liberated", gay men in a few large American cities were increasingly
developing previously uncommon diseases such as fatal forms of the
malignancy Kaposis' sarcoma and a fungal pneumonia known as PCP. At the
time, whilst it was reasonable to implicate an infectious microbe
transmitted by rampant, indiscriminant sexual practices interspersed
with needle sharing drug taking, the fact that immune suppression had
multiple causes was also known in 1981. Some considered the diseases
resulted from multiple assaults to bodily functions caused by the many
and varied diseases, toxins and treatments that accompanied the gay and
drug taking lifestyle that had evolved during the late 1970s.
Just how extensive these multiple assaults were was indicated by the
English journalist Neville Hodgkinson documenting the range of
infections of just one homosexual, the late Michael Callen in his book
"AIDS The failure of contemporary science: How a virus that never was
deceived the world".(29) "Non-specific urethritis, hepatitis A, more
NSU and gonorrhoea, amoebas [intestinal parasites]-and hepatitis B, more
NSU and gonorrhoea, more amoebas, shigella, non-A, non-B hepatitis,
giardia, anal fissures, syphilis, more gonorrhoea [penile, anal and
oral], gonorrhoea, shigella twice, more amoebas, herpes simplex types I
and II; venereal warts, salmonella; chlamydia; cytomegalovirus (CMV);
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); mononucleosis and cryptosporidiosis", ("a
disease of cattle!"). Indeed, an early US Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) study confirmed that the first 100 men with AIDS had a median
lifetime number of 1120 sex partners.(30) As Callen himself put it, "I
got some combination of venereal diseases EACH AND EVERY TIME I had
sex". Not surprisingly, given the widespread belief of a causal
relationship between immunity and the maintenance of health, in 1981 the
"new" disease became known as Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). In
fact none of the diseases was new. Some were known to occur in drug
addicts and haemophiliacs long before the AIDS era. What was "new" was
their exponentially escalating prevalence in gay men.
Technology and Virology
Coincidental with the beginning of the AIDS era a technique was
developed to classify and count the different types of lymphocyte white
blood cells. It was noticed that some AIDS patients had diminished
numbers of the so called T4 "helper" cell subtype and, despite lack of
proof, the cells were assumed to be dying at the behest of an agent
selectively targeting them. This became the "hallmark" of AIDS as well
as forming a measure of the amount of immune deficiency. In turn, this
"immune deficiency", (the "AID" in AIDS) caused the diseases (the "S" in
AIDS) that constitute the clinical syndrome. The perceptions that T4
cells were dying and AIDS was infectious led to the theory that AIDS is
caused by a microbial organism.
Five years prior to the AIDS era a few laboratories around the world
were drawing towards the end of a fruitless search to prove a viral
cause for human cancers. During the 1970s, Dr. Robert Gallo, the central
figure as "co-discoverer" of the AIDS virus, and his colleagues, claimed
to have discovered three human retroviruses. (The name ‘retroviruses’
arises because of the copying of the RNA which forms the viral "genes"
[the genome] "backwards" into DNA, a direction contrary to that long
considered universal, that is, from DNA into RNA). In 1975 the first
human retrovirus, HL23V, was proposed to cause human leukaemia but by
1980 was considered an embarrassing mistake, in fact not to have ever
existed. Of the remaining two, one was postulated to cause a specific
though rare form of adult leukaemia and the second is still without a
disease. What is significant is that the latter two retroviruses are
said to exhibit a liking for T4 lymphocytes. This led Donald Francis and
Gallo and others to propose that an existing or closely related
retrovirus was the agent responsible for killing the T4 cells in AIDS
patients. When researchers actively sought and then discovered the same
diseases in individuals who were not gay, retroviruses, as well as
retrovirologists, received renewed interest and GRID became AIDS.
In May 1983 Professor Luc Montagnier and his colleagues at the
Pasteur Institute of Paris published a paper in Science entitled,
"Isolation of a T-Lymphotrophic Retrovirus from a patient at Risk for
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).(64) It is important to note
that the first word in this paper, ‘Isolation’, serves as a signal that
the researcher is claiming proof for the existence of a new virus. In
the interests of science, on several occasions, Montagnier sent samples
of his tissue cultures to the Gallo laboratory in America with the
express understanding these "could be used for biomedical, biological
and molecular biological studies".(65) However, Montagnier did not claim
to have proven his virus was the cause of AIDS and the French discovery
lay on the table until May 1984 when Gallo and Popovic and their
colleagues (66-69) published four papers also in Science. On the
23rd of April 1984, at a Washington press conference held two weeks
before the papers were published, Margaret Heckler, Secretary for Health
and Human Services, announced that Gallo and his co-workers had
discovered the "probable" cause of AIDS and had developed a sensitive
blood test to detect the virus in the body. A curative vaccine was
predicted within two years. Inexplicably, causation was proclaimed
merely by association and despite "isolation" of HIV in only 26 of
Gallo’s 72 (36%) AIDS patients, or barely a third. (The frequency of
"isolation" is no better today.(70)).
In 1985 the Pasteur Institute alleged that Gallo had misappropriated
their virus. The ensuing conflict, which eventually reached the American
courts, was settled by a negotiated agreement signed in 1987 by Gallo
and Montagnier as "co-discoverers", and US President Reagan and French
Premier Chirac. Nevertheless, the matter drew the attention of John
Crewdson, an investigative journalist, and US Senator John Dingell. In
November 1989, Crewdson published a lengthy article in the Chicago
Tribune newspaper, which provoked an internal NIH enquiry into
suspect data from Gallo's laboratory. A draft report of the formal
investigation written by NIH Office of Scientific Integrity (OSI), was
published in September 1991, in which the principal author Mikulas
Popovic was accused "of misconduct for misstatements and inaccuracies"
that appeared in the first Science paper, and that Gallo, as
laboratory chief, "created and fostered conditions that give rise to
falsified/ fabricated data and falsified reports". The final draft
report of the OSI, completed in January 1992, was immediately criticised
and was followed by a review of the OSI report by the Office of Research
Integrity (ORI), which found Gallo guilty of scientific misconduct.
However, despite the long and costly investigation, the OSI concluded
that Gallo's research "does not negate the central findings of the
 Science paper". According to Eleopulos and her colleagues,
regardless of the material uncovered by the OSI, Gallo's data, which
still remains the best of its kind, does not prove the existence of HIV
and even if it did, nowhere in the papers is their proof that HIV causes
In December 1987, three and a half years after the Washington press
conference, Professor Peter Duesberg, virologist and molecular biologist
at the University of Berkeley, California, published an invited paper
entitled "Retroviruses as Pathogens: Expectations and Reality".(3)
Duesberg was a much fêted scientist, considered to be "the golden boy of
virology" and "the greatest living retrovirologist". He had developed
many of the laboratory techniques for studying retroviruses and their
genetic make up, had discovered cancer causing genes, and was recipient
of a $US350,000 "outstanding investigator" award from the NIH. But
Duesberg dropped a bombshell. He asserted that, apart from the relative
few cancer causing retroviruses, the majority are virtually harmless.
Duesberg argued that HIV is neutralised by antibodies shortly after
infection and thus antibodies signal its containment. He also pointed to
data proving that well, sick or dying from AIDS, HIV positive
individuals contain insufficient amounts of HIV to do harm. Even if HIV
were to kill all the T4 cells it had infected every 1-2 days, the amount
of T4 cells needing replacing approximated the amount of blood shed by a
man cutting himself shaving.
For the protagonists, the low "viral burden", that is, the amount of
"HIV DNA" in cells, was a fact that no one, not even Gallo, could
satisfactorily reconcile with an immune destroying pathogen killing gay
men within a year or two of diagnosis. However, rather than addressing
this as a scientific problem warranting dialogue with someone known to
have considerable knowledge of the subject, Duesberg's questions
antagonised Gallo to the point where he refused to discuss the matter.
Meetings convened to deal with the uncomfortable implications of
Duesberg's paper were suddenly cancelled at the highest level.
In 1989 Duesberg presented further argument.(4) HIV does not fulfil
the postulates nineteenth century bacteriologist Robert Koch had
developed to prove a microbe causes a disease. These four postulates are
one, that the organism must be present in all cases of the disease; two,
that it must be grown and then isolated in pure culture from the cells
of individuals with the disease; three, that it must reproduce the
disease when introduced into a susceptible host or experimental animals
and four, that from whence it must once again be recovered.
According to Duesberg "From every angle, HIV fails Koch’s first
postulate".(1) The second postulate was fulfilled but only by subjecting
cells to drastic chemical manipulation that did not approach conditions
in vivo. Eleopulos has argued how basic retrovirology has long
shown that oxidation which prevails in HIV/AIDS patients and their cell
cultures creates internal (endogenous) retroviruses in cells
whose DNA was not previously infected from the outside (12,14,15,71,72)
(One percent of human DNA, that is, an amount 3000 times larger than
"HIV" DNA, is made up of endogenous retroviral DNA(73)). The third
postulate failed because, "During the past decade, more than four
hundred thousand AIDS patients have been treated and investigated by a
system of five million medical workers and AIDS researchers, none of
whom have been vaccinated against HIV… But ten years later there is not
even one case in the scientific literature of a health worker who ever
contracted presumably infectious AIDS from a patient… AIDS is not
infectious". Similarly, "nine years after the NIH first started
infecting chimpanzees with HIV-over 150 so far at a cost of
$40,000-50,000 apiece", all "are still healthy".(5 **)
In 1992, Duesberg shifted focus from HIV to argue that "AIDS [is]
acquired by drug consumption and other noncontagious risk factors".(5)
Apart from illicit and recreational drugs, Duesberg’s list included the
first "anti-retroviral" compound zidovudine (AZT). In other words, a
specific treatment for HIV infection was a cause of AIDS. Duesberg
continued to regard HIV bona fide but an inert, harmless
"passenger" virus linked to AIDS only through the kinds of activity
associated with drug taking (including prescribed drugs). Duesberg, like
others before him, pointed to the epidemiological data revealing a 50
fold difference in the AIDS "attack rate" between various groups of HIV
positive individuals, as well as the proclivity of certain AIDS diseases
for particular risk groups. Thus 50% of HIV positive blood transfusion
recipients develop AIDS within one year (but so do 50% of HIV negatives)
compared to 1% of haemophiliacs. Kaposis’ sarcoma was to all intents and
purposes, confined to gay men.(5,13,74)). Thus, even if HIV were
necessary to cause AIDS, it could not be the only factor. However,
accretion of "co-factors" to the HIV theory rendered the significance of
any particular factor problematic. It was possible to argue that HIV may
be only a minor factor or, at least in Eleopulos' and Duesberg's minds,
not a factor. Apparently the role of HIV was also a problem for
Montagnier. Although he wrote in Nature in December 1984, "all
available data are consistent with the virus being the causative agent
of AIDS",(75) in 1985 he expressed an opinion impossible to reconcile
with the HIV theory. "This syndrome occurs in a minority of infected
persons, who generally have in common a past of antigenic stimulation
and of immune depression before LAV [HIV] infection",(76) that
is, cause after effect (italics ours). One must surmise that within a
year, the discoverer of HIV was already hedging his bets. His recent
interview with the investigative journalist Djamel Tahi (61) (see
below), fuels such speculation.
Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and the Perth group
Eleopulos’ AIDS research began in 1981. In May 1986 she submitted for
publication a paper which refuted every step in the HIV theory,
including HIV itself. She also proposed an alternative, non-viral theory
(of which "Duesberg’s" "Drugs/AIDS hypothesis" is a subset), and
predicated non-toxic and relatively inexpensive treatments.
Her theory was based on a general theory of cellular functioning she
had formulated in the 1970s as a basis for unraveling the genesis and
improving the treatment of cancer, and to offer fresh insights into the
pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases and aging. Eleopulos postulates
that normal cellular functioning is determined by the level and
oscillations of cellular redox (23) (oxidation and its chemical
opposite, reduction). In her view, when oxidation is prolonged or
excessive, cells become abnormal, injured and susceptible to diseases.
Eleopulos had noticed a link between the risk groups. Gay men, drug
users and haemophiliacs are exposed to chemical stressors in the form of
semen, nitrites, illicit drugs and factor VIII (the blood clotting
protein missing from and administered to haemophiliacs). There is
abundant evidence that these substances are potent cellular
oxidants.(12) In Eleopulos’ view, oxidative stress produces low T4 cells
and AIDS, as well as the phenomena inferred as proof for the existence
The ready acceptance of the Montagnier/Gallo 1983/84 Science
papers posed enormous difficulties for Eleopulos having her work
published. Thus "Reappraisal of AIDS: Is the oxidation caused by the
risk factors the primary cause?" was twice rejected by Nature
eventually finding light of day in Medical Hypotheses twelve
months after Duesberg.(12) However, the editor of this journal also
rejected the paper, only recanting after Eleopulos worked for several
months to convince him that equatorial Africa was not in the grip of an
epidemic of sexually transmitted immunodeficiency and thus not in breach
of her theory.(11,24,63,77)
To paraphrase the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, wrong
predictions affirm bad theories, correct predictions make them powerful.
The HIV theory requires that HIV causes all the AIDS defining diseases
and predicts that HIV/AIDS will become a global epidemic via the oldest
and most unstoppable of all human activities. However, Kaposis’ sarcoma,
one of the two diseases for which the HIV theory was proposed, is no
longer attributed either directly or indirectly (via AID), to
HIV.(12,13,54,74,78 §) In the OECD countries the prediction of a sexual
pandemic fails completely. For example, as of the beginning of 1998, 93%
of the cumulative deaths from AIDS in Australia occurred in the original
risk groups, that is, gay/bisexual men, drug addicts and haemophiliacs.
This observation fits the classic demographic profile of non-infectious
diseases such as pellagra, beriberi and scurvy which also remain
confined to their risk groups. All are caused by vitamin deficiencies
but in the past were regarded infectious and sufferers shunned and
quarantined. The HIV protagonists also predicted a curative vaccine by
the end of 1986 and an animal model to prove the HIV theory beyond all
doubt. Neither prediction has been fulfilled. A vaccine is not envisaged
before the turn of the century and animals given "HIV" do not develop
On the other hand, the Eleopulos oxidative stress theory predicts the
current demographic data, an apparent loss of T4 cells, the risk
of passive anal intercourse in both sexes, HIV positive and AIDS
patients being oxidised relative to normal individuals, the ameriolation
of HIV/AIDS by the use of antioxidants and a non-infectious
animal model. Everyone of these predictions has materialised. Oxidative
stress is well established by hundreds of papers,(14,62,79-81) so much
so that in the early 1990s the Pasteur Institute was advertising
international scholarships to study the phenomenon. In fact this year
Luc Montagnier is the principal editor of a 558 page book devoted to
oxidative stress in cancer, aging and AIDS.(82)
The Eleopulos theory predicts that a decline in T4 cells can occur
without cellular death. In fact, according to the Perth group, there is
no evidence to support the notion that T4 cells are dead, or that "HIV"
kills such cells. In T4 cell cultures, the same number T4 cells
"disappear" regardless of whether one adds "HIV" or merely the chemical
stimulants obligatory to "grow" the "HIV".(83) Neither is there proof
that low numbers of T4 cells are either necessary or sufficient to
produce the clinical syndrome.(9,12,14) This is a view recently
expressed by leading HIV/AIDS scientists such as Dr. Arthur Anderson
from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (84)
and Dr. Zvi Grossman at the University of Tel Aviv.85
In other words, the central tenet of the HIV theory, virus induced
killing of immune cells leading to AIDS, is now being questioned by
HIV/AIDS experts themselves. Nonetheless, and despite so much evidence
to the contrary, the orthodox view remains entrenched. In fact, since
1993 the low numbers of T4 cells has been enshrined in the 1993 CDC AIDS
definition whereby AIDS can be diagnosed without a disease. Just as
"co-factors" were proposed to rescue the HIV theory in the mid 1980s, in
July 1998 Chen and colleagues from the UCLA AIDS Institute, School of
Medicine, Los Angeles reported evidence that "naturally noninfectious
virus" or virus or "rendered defective" by "anti-HIV" drugs, could still
contribute to the loss of T4 cells throughout the course of HIV
disease.(86) In other words, "alive" or "dead", HIV causes immune
deficiency. Such a proposal does not auger well for the use or continued
development of "anti-HIV" drugs.
Consistent also with the Eleopulos oxidatives stress theory is the
direct relationship between high frequencies of passive anal intercourse
and the development of AIDS, as well as the fact that the only animal
model of AIDS is non-infectious. Mice repeatedly injected with foreign
cellular proteins develop a dramatic depletion of T4 cells, Kaposi's
sarcoma-like tumors and "abundant" retroviral-like particles appear in
their spleens.(87) Thus AIDS diseases are followed by the production of
retroviral-like particles and not the other way around.
The demise of scientific democracy
The longevity of the HIV theory has been considerably boosted by the
virtual refusal of editors of leading medical journals to publish any
material which takes HIV to task. Without these data, and the stamp of
approval engendered by such publication, it is almost impossible for the
debate to reach the ears of those who matter the most, clinicians and
their patients. Like generals directing wars, the remoteness of editors
begets an objectivity which, while essential to clear thinking,
militates against an appreciation of the profound responsibilities
editors hold at the bedside. Ultimately, although the HIV theory is
manifoldly problematic, physicians, patients, relatives, politicians,
journalists and the tax paying public are systematically denied
knowledge of its existence and substance. Not only is there is a total
absence anywhere of a disinterested, adjudicated debate, individuals
whose only motivation is to contribute to solving a disease claimed to
afflict millions of people, find themselves censored. For example, the
editor of the world’s most prestigious journal, Nature, denied
Duesberg the right of reply on issues he raised because his views give
"many infected people the belief that HIV infection is not in itself the
calamity it is likely to prove".(29) Yet, in a recent edition of the
same journal, but in another context, there is a claim that "the voice
of sceptics may grow tiresome, but the mainstream is in trouble if it
cannot win a public debate with them". Officials at the Berlin 10th
International AIDS Conference confiscated Dutch AIDS analyst Robert
Laarhoven's press pass and threatened him with expulsion from Germany
for "criminal trespass" because he placed copies of the dissident
journal Rethinking AIDS on an "unauthorised" table. Nature
has repeatedly rejected every paper and letter submitted by Eleopulos
and her colleagues since 1986 without providing any scientific reasons
and invariably citing space constraints in the journal. Professor John
Kaldor, one of Australia's foremost "established experts" on AIDS admits
that dissidents "intersperse their cases with grains of fact".(88)
However, because of Kaldor and colleagues’ "strong instinct not to
dignify the sceptics' arguments by attempting to refute them", arguments
based on these "grains of fact" and many other data, remain unanswered
The rise and fall of the "anti-HIV" drugs
It would take a second article to discuss AZT and the many other
"anti-HIV" drugs. Suffice it to say there is no scientific proof that
such drugs kill "HIV" or cure AIDS but there is ample evidence they are
harmful.(1,53,56) In 1994, a double-blind randomised comparison of two
policies of AZT treatment (immediate and deferred) was reported (the
Concorde trial). This involved 1749 symptom-free, HIV-infected
individuals from centres in the UK, Ireland and France. The 347 clinical
endpoints (AIDS and death) outnumbered the total of those in all other
published trials in symptom-free and early symptomatic infection. The
results showed "there was no statistically significant difference in
clinical outcome between the two therapeutic policies".(89) In 1995,
extended results of Concorde showed a significant increased risk of
death among the patients treated early. However, despite these data,
disclaimers that patients treated with AZT may continue to develop the
AIDS diseases, that the side effects of AZT may mimic AIDS, and AZT
given to non-HIV-infected babies causes the AIDS defining pneumonia
PCP,(90) AZT continues to be the most commonly prescribed anti-HIV drug.
Dr. Donald Abrams, Professor of Medicine and Director of the AIDS
program at San Francisco General Hospital, said "I have a large
population of people who have chosen not to take any antiretrovirals...
I've been following them since the very beginning...They've watched all
of their friends go on the antiviral bandwagon and die".(91) Indeed,
even an elementary study of the relevant pharmacologicaL literature
reveals that AZT cannot be an anti-HIV drug.(92)
In 1996, the latest drugs, the "protease inhibitors" (PI) were
introduced. These are prescribed as one of up to 200 possible
"cocktails" with AZT or similar drugs. Detailed data on these drugs of
the kind usually reserved for medical practitioners, appear regularly in
glossy, multi-page advertisements in gay mens’ magazines. At the July
1996 XIth International AIDS conference Time Magazine Man of the
Year David Ho predicted that "scientists would find new drugs to wipe
HIV out of the body within three years possibly within just one".(93) At
the July 1998 XIIth AIDS conference Ho stated it will take at least ten
years of intense combination drug therapy to kill off all the HIV in an
infected person's body but a sizable percentage of HIV patients will
never get close. Many patients cannot tolerate the untoward effects of
these "cocktails" and measurements show that the DNA "viral" burden does
not decrease.(94-97) In the May 1998 Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences Dr. William Paul, former Director of the
National Institutes of Health's Office of AIDS Research writes, "no
matter how long a person is treated with anti-HIV drugs, there will
always be new viruses... you will have to be treated forever... No one
is getting cured... This bodes extremely poorly for combination therapy
as something curative".(85)
Given the toxicity of these drugs, it is unlikely anyone can tolerate
taking them for more than a few years. If this outlook is gloomy for
HIV/AIDS sufferers, it is even worse considering there is no
substantial, alternative therapeutic strategy anywhere on the horizon.
The futility of all "anti-HIV" drugs, past present and future is best
highlighted in a June 1998 interview by Dr. Harold Varmus, Nobel
Laureate retrovirologist and Director of the NIH. "Trying to rid the
body of a virus whose genome is incorporated into the host genome may be
impossible".(98) Indeed, how can a drug rid a body of material so
intimately bound to the host DNA genetic material?
SOME SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS WITH THE HIV THEORY
The theory versus the definition
The central premise of the HIV theory of AIDS is that there exists a
unique retrovirus, transmissible via blood and sexual secretions, which
induces specific antibodies, kills T4 cells whose relative absence then
causes the appearance of approximately 30 diseases which constitute the
clinical syndrome. The theory however is rendered completely
contradictory by the official AIDS definition used clinically. In
Australia an individual is diagnosed AIDS if he or she fulfills the
criteria set out in the latest (1993) revision of the US "CDC
surveillance case definition for AIDS".(99) (Other definitions in use
around the world make scientific comparisons almost impossible. In
Africa AIDS is diagnosed on symptoms and without blood tests (100)).
Since from 1985 the CDC "accepts" HIV as the cause of AIDS, it should
not be possible to diagnose AIDS by any means inconsistent with the HIV
theory. However, even a cursory reading of the 1993 definition reveals
AIDS can be diagnosed with the imprimatur of the CDC: with
Kaposis’ sarcoma which even Gallo (54) accepts is not caused by HIV, in
the absence of immune deficiency, "without laboratory evidence of HIV
infection" and, extraordinarily, "in the presence of negative
results for HIV infection"(101) (italics ours).
HIV/AIDS is claimed to be bidirectionally sexually transmitted. Data
to support this claim is based not upon microbial isolation and contact
tracing as is the orthodox practice for proving diseases are infectious
and sexually transmitted (STD), but on mostly retrospective studies of
highly selected groups of individuals including gay and bisexual men,
heterosexual men and women including prostitutes, for antibodies in
blood which react certain proteins deemed "HIV specific". Included in
these studies are estimations of risk factors for the specific sexual
practices of penile insertive, vaginal, anal receptive and oral
In 1984 Gallo and his colleagues showed that "Of eight different
sexual acts, a positive HIV antibody test correlated only with receptive
anal intercourse" (102). They also found the more often a gay man has
insertive anal intercourse the less likely he was to become HIV
positive. This is incompatible with an infectious cause. In 1986 Gallo
and his colleagues reported they "found no evidence that other forms of
sexual activity, contribute to the risk" of HIV seroconversion in gay
men.(103) In an extensive review of 25 studies of gay men reported in
1994 by Caceres and van Griensven, the authors concluded that " no or no
consistent risk of the acquisition of HIV-1 infection has been reported
regarding insertive intercourse".(104) In the West, the largest and most
judiciously conducted prospective epidemiological studies such as the
Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) of 4955 gay men (105) have proven
beyond all reasonable doubt that in gay men the only significant sexual
act related to becoming HIV antibody positive is receptive anal
intercourse. Thus in gay men, AIDS may be likened to the non-infectious
condition, pregnancy. It is acquired by the passive partner but is not
transmitted to the active partner.
Significantly, the MACS also showed that once a gay man becomes HIV
positive, progression to AIDS is further determined by the amount of
passive anal intercourse sustained after "infection". This is contrary
to all that is known about infectious diseases. Infection, not repeated
infections, causes disease. Indeed, although the Royal Australasian
College of Surgeons considers HIV positive surgeons "to be infectious
and should not perform invasive procedures or operations. However,
"(t)hey may provide these services to patients who have the same
The largest and best conducted studies in heterosexuals including the
European Study Group (107) show that for women, the only sexual practice
leading to an increased risk of becoming HIV antibody positive is anal
intercourse. The unidirectional transmission of "HIV" observed in OECD
countries is supported by Nancy Padian's ten year study of heterosexual
couples (1986-1996).(108) There were two parts to this study, one
cross-sectional, the other prospective. In the former "The constant
per-contact infectivity for male-to-female transmission was estimated to
be 0.0009 [1/1111]". The risk factors for the women were: (i) anal
intercourse;. (ii) having partners who acquired this infection through
drug use (Padian says that this means the women may also be IV drug
users); (iii) the presence of STDs. (antibodies to their causative
agents may react in an "HIV" antibody test (15,20) Of the HIV negative
male partners of 82 positive female cases only 2 became HIV positive but
under circumstances considered ambiguous by Padian. In the prospective
study, starting in 1990, 175 HIV-discordant couples were followed for
approximately 282 couple-years. At entry, one third used condoms
consistently and in the six months prior their last follow up visit, 26%
of couples consistently failed to use condoms. There were no
seroconversions after entry including the 47 couples not using condoms
consistently. Based on the 2/86 men who became HIV positive in the early
study, the risk to a non-infected male from his HIV positive female
partner was reported to be in the order of 1/9000 per contact. From this
statistic one can calculate that on average, a male would need to have
6000 sexual contacts with an infected female to achieve a 50% chance of
becoming HIV positive. At three contacts per week this would take 56
years, or a life time.
The notion that HIV is a virus which "does not discriminate" is also
markedly inconsistent with the data obtained from studies of female
prostitutes. Even if, as it is widely accepted, by some unknown means a
sexually transmitted infectious agent found its way into the promiscuous
portion of the gay male population in certain large cities in the United
States in the late 1970s, given the facts that prostitutes are
frequented by bisexual men and, at the very earliest, "safe" sexual
practices date from 1985, one would have expected HIV/AIDS to have
spread rapidly through prostitutes and thence to the general community.
However, the prevalence of "HIV" antibodies amongst prostitutes is
almost entirely confined to those who are drug users. Virtually all
other prostitutes have not been, and are not becoming, HIV positive.
In September 1985, 56 non-intravenous drug using (IVDU) prostitutes
were tested "In the rue Saint-Denis, the most notorious street in Paris
for prostitution. More than a thousand prostitutes work in this
area…These women, aged 18-60, have sexual intercourse 15-25 times daily
and do not routinely use protection". None were positive.(109)
In Copenhagen, 101 non-IVDU prostitutes, a quarter of whom "suspected
that up to one fifth of their clients were homosexual or bisexual", were
tested during August/October 1985. The median numbers of sexual
encounters per week was 20. None were positive.(110)
In 1985, 132 prostitutes (and 55 non-prostitutes) who attended a
Sydney STD clinic were tested for HIV antibodies. The average numbers of
sexual partners (clients and lovers) in the previous month was 24.5.
When an estimate was made to separate clients and lovers, the median
number of sexual contacts per year rose from 175 to 450. The partners of
only 14 (11%) of prostitutes used condoms at all and 49% of their
partners used condoms in fewer than 20% of encounters. No women were
The same Australian Clinic repeatedly tested an additional 491
prostitutes who attended between 1986 and 1988. Of 231 out of the 491
prostitutes surveyed, 19% "had bisexual non-paying partners and 21% had
partners who injected drugs. Sixty-nine percent always used condoms for
vaginal intercourse with paying clients, but they were rarely used with
non-paying partners. Condoms were rarely used by those clients and/or
partners for the 18% of prostitutes practising anal intercourse". No
women were positive.
At the time of this report, a decade into the AIDS era, the authors
also commented, "there has been no documented case of a female
prostitute in Australia becoming infected with HIV through sexual
intercourse" (italics ours). Yet, these investigators from the
Sydney Sexual Health Centre concluded "there are still many women
working as prostitutes in Sydney who remain seriously at risk of HIV
infection".(112) In Spain, of 519 non-IVDU prostitutes tested between
May 1989 and December 1990, only 12 (2.3 per cent) had positive test,
which was "only slightly higher than that reported 5 years ago in
similar surveys". Some prostitutes had as many as 600 partners a month
and the development of a positive antibody test was directly related to
the practice of anal intercourse. The authors also noted, "a more
striking and disappointing finding was the low proportion of prostitutes
who used condoms at all times, despite the several mass-media AIDS
prevention campaigns that have been carried out in Spain".(113)
Similar data from two Scottish studies,(114) the 1993 "European
working group on HIV infection in female prostitutes study",(115) and a
1994 report of 53,903 Filipino prostitutes tested between 1985 to 1992,
confirm that non-IVDU prostitutes remain virtually devoid of HIV
infection. For example, in the latter study, only 72 (0.01%) women were
found to be HIV positive.
In studies where there appear to be a high incidence of HIV amongst
prostitutes there are uncertainties that defy explanation. For example,
although "HIV has been present in the commercial sex work networks in
the Philippines and Indonesia for almost as long as it has been in
Thailand and Cambodia", the prevalence of HIV in the former is 0.13% and
0.02% respectively and 18.8% and 40% in the latter.(116) If these are
accurate data, the discrepancy defies epidemiological explanation and
has indeed baffled the experts although the latter postulate
"behavioural factors" such as one country’s prostitutes and clients
being considerably more or less sexually active than another. However,
one could also pose another question. What are the "HIV" antibody tests
actually measuring? Be that as it may, since 5674 (44%) and 4360 (34%)
of the 12785 Cambodian "HIV and AIDS Case Reports" till 31/12/97 are
listed as "Unknown" gender and age respectively,(117) data collection,
at least by the WHO in Cambodia, must be regarded as problematic.
Why should HIV avoid non-drug using prostitutes? If female
prostitutes who do not use drugs do not become HIV infected despite
being "seriously at risk of HIV infection", what is the risk of
infection to the majority of Australian women who are neither drug users
nor prostitutes? According to data from the National Centre in HIV
Epidemiology and Clinical Research, vanishingly little. A 1989 study
testing 10, 217 blood samples of newborn babies (unambiguous evidence of
heterosexual activity without condoms), found that no babies or mothers
were HIV positive.(118) If such women remain non-infected, how do their
non-drug using, male heterosexual partners become infected with HIV?
According to Simon Wain-Hobson, a leading HIV expert from the Pasteur
Institute, "a virus's job" is to spread. "If you don't spread, you're
dead". (Weiss, 1998 #1179) The "overwhelming" evidence from studies both
in gay men and heterosexuals is that HIV/AIDS is not bidirectionally
sexually transmitted. In the whole history of Medicine there has never
been such a phenomenon. Since microbes rely on person to person spread
for their survival, it is impossible to claim from epidemiological data
that HIV/AIDS is an infectious, sexually transmitted disease. Indeed,
Professor Stuart Brody, from the University of Tubingen, has argued that
physicians ignore the actual heterosexual data and instead promote the
politically correct idea that everyone is at risk. "Ideological
knowledge about AIDS is far more likely to filter through society than
THE DIAGNOSIS OF "HIV" INFECTION
The HIV antibody tests
There are two "HIV" antibody tests in common use, the ELISA and
Western blot (WB). The ELISA causes a colour change when a mixture of
"HIV" proteins reacts with antibodies in serum from a patient. In the
Western blot, "HIV" proteins are first separated along the length of a
nitrocellulose strip. This enables individual reactions to the ten or so
"HIV" proteins to be visualised as a series of darkened "bands". The
Western blot test is used to "confirm" repeatedly positive ELISAs
because experts agree that the ELISA "overreacts", that is, it is
insufficiently specific.(¥) Prior to 1987, one "HIV specific" WB band
was considered proof of HIV infection. However, since 15%-25% of
healthy, no risk individuals have "HIV specific" WB bands,(119,120) it
became necessary to redefine a positive WB by adding extra and selecting
particular bands, otherwise at least one in every seven people would be
diagnosed infected with HIV. (Notwithstanding, in the MACS, one band
remained proof of HIV infection in gay men until 1990 (121)). On the
other hand, although AIDS began to decline in 1987,(122,123) this trend
was countered by the addition of more and more diseases and, most
recently, mere laboratory abnormalities to each revision (1985, 1987 and
1993) of the first, 1982 CDC definition. The net effect of these changes
was to maintain the correlation between "HIV" antibodies and "AIDS"
amongst the "risk" groups while the risk of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis
outside these groups remained slight. This was further accentuated by
avoiding testing outside the risk groups. However, when such studies
were performed, for example, (a) amongst 89,547 anonymously tested blood
specimens from 26 US hospital patients at no risk of AIDS, between 0.7%
to 21.7% of men and 0-7.8% of women aged 25-44 years were found to be
HIV WB positive.(124) (It is estimated that approximately 1% of men are
gay. Also, at the five hospitals with the highest rates of HIV
antibodies, one third of positive tests were in women. Yet men vastly
outnumber women as AIDS patients). (b) the US Consortium for Retrovirus
Serology Standardization reported that 127/1306 (10%) of individuals at
"low risk" for AIDS including "specimens from blood donor centers" had a
positive HIV antibody test by the "most stringent" US WB criteria (119)
(see below). Thus the correlation between "HIV" antibodies and AIDS,
which experts accept as the only proof that HIV causes AIDS, could not
be a statistic related to the natural, unbridled activity of a virus but
is instead a contrivance of mankind. Not only does correlation never
prove causation, the artificiality of this particular "correlation"
disqualifies it from meaningful scientific analysis.
One of the most bizarre aspects of the HIV/AIDS theory is that
different laboratories, institutions and countries define different sets
of WB bands as a positive test (Figure 1). The global variation in
interpretive criteria means for example, that in Australia a positive
test requires particular sets of four bands. In the USA, different sets
of two or three suffice, which may or may not include the bands required
in Australia. In Africa only one designated set of two is required. Put
simply, this means that the same person tested in three cities on the
same day may or may not be HIV infected. If the diagnosis of HIV
infection were a game of poker, a flush would require five cards the
same suit in one country but only one or two elswhere. A virus cannot
behave in this manner, but, according to the HIV test, which is claimed
to have a specificity of 99.999%,(125) it does.
As incomprehensible as this appears, further difficulties remain. For
example, an Australian tested in Australia with one or two "HIV
specific" bands would not be reported HIV infected.(101). Clearly
however, there must be a reason why an uninfected individual, such as a
healthy blood donor or military recruit can possess any, even one, "HIV
specific" band. According to the experts, these bands are caused by
cross-reacting, that is, "false", "non-HIV" antibodies which react with
the "HIV" proteins. Thus it is axiomatic that an antibody which reacts
with a particular protein is not necessarily an antibody the immune
system has generated specifically in response to that protein. The
Australian National HIV Reference Laboratory (NRL) concedes that "False
reactivity may be to one or more protein bands and is common"(120)
(20-25%). However Eleopulos argues, if "non-HIV" antibodies cause "one
or more protein bands", then why are they not able to cause four or
five? Or all ten? On what basis do experts assert which antibodies are
"false" and which are "true"? Or, how the same three bands, caused by
"false" non-"HIV" antibodies, become "true" when accompanied by one
extra? On what basis do experts assert there are any "true" HIV
antibodies? If the Australian traveller were to be tested in the USA,
where two or three bands are sufficient to diagnose HIV infection, are
his antibodies "false" in Australia but "true" as his aeroplane touches
down in Los Angeles?
In 1994, Dr. Elizabeth Dax, the head of the NRL was asked to justify
both the Australian criteria for a positive Western blot and the global
variability.(28) Her response (126) avoided answering either question
and subsequent correspondence failed to pass the editorial staff at the
Medical Journal of Australia. When the same questions were later
put via the Offices of Senator Chris Ellison, Minister for Schools,
Vocational Education and Training, the first question was again
unanswered and the widely different criteria between Australia and
Africa were justified on the basis that in Africa, "comparatively, false
reactivity is far less common [than in Australia] so that interpretation
criteria to define [true] positivity may be less strict".(120)
However, no scientist can make such a claim without data. All
antibody tests are subject to the vagaries of cross-reactions and the
only way to calculate the incidences of "true" and "false" antibodies is
to scrutinise reactions against what the test is purportedly meant to
measure, that is, against HIV itself. HIV isolation is the only gold
standard by which the specificity of the antibodies can be determined
and this must be evaluated before the test is introduced into clinical
practice. However, despite the WB being in widespread use and "a
stalwart" (126) of HIV testing, these data have never been reported.
This is an issue the NRL chronically and negligently fails to address.
Even without such evidence since, (a) the NRL concedes that
cross-reacting antibodies cause misleading reactions in the WB in one
quarter of healthy Australians; (b) unlike Australians, Africans,
(similar to the AIDS risk groups), are exposed to a multitude of
infectious agents producing a myriad of antibodies each capable of
cross-reactions; "false reactivity" will be much higher in Africa where
the WB criteria should be the most stringent. Indeed, if it is true that
"HIV" antibodies prove one third of heterosexual adults in certain
central and east African countries are infected with HIV, "life in these
countries must be one endless orgy".(39)
If the proteins used in the HIV ELISA and WB are unique constituents
of an exogenous retrovirus, and if such a virus induces specific
antibodies, we would never expect to find "HIV" antibodies in the
absence of HIV. Yet, in addition to the circumstances above, there are
numerous others where antibodies to the "HIV specific" proteins arise
where HIV/AIDS experts concede there is no HIV. These include healthy
mice injected with lymphocytes of similar mice (127) or bacterial
extracts;(V. Colizzi et al., personal communication), following
transfusions of HIV free blood (128) or a person's own irradiated
blood,(129) and in 72/144 dogs tested at a Veterinary clinic in Davis
USA.(130) In addition, antibodies to the microbes which cause the fungal
and mycobacterial diseases affecting 90% of AIDS patients react with the
"HIV specific" proteins.(20,131) This year it was reported that 35% of
patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 39% of patients with other
biliary disorders, 29% of those with lupus, 60% of patients with
hepatitis B, 35% of hepatitis C, all non-HIV, non-AIDS diseases, have
antibodies to the "HIV" p24 "core" protein;(132)
Until 1990, an unknown number of the 4955 gay men in the MACS were
diagnosed HIV infected on the basis of an antibody to the "HIV
specific", p24 protein, that is, with one WB band. Why do not all
similar tests prove infection with HIV? Why are gay men with a single,
p24 band infected with a deadly virus while biliary and liver disease
patients with the same band are not? Why were the criteria for
diagnosing HIV infection set less rigorous in gay men? Although all HIV
experts accept cross-reactivity in HIV antibody testing, in 1993 the New
South Wales Department of Health interpreted the discovery of "HIV"
antibodies in four woman as "compelling evidence" for transmission of
HIV from a gay man during the course of minor, office surgery in
1989.(133) However, there was no proof that the gay man was HIV infected
at the time of surgery, or that any of the four women were operated on
after the man. This report remains the only one of its kind in the world
and immediately led to the establishment of a special committee of the
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons which wrote to all College
Fellows inviting submissions upon the matter. However, rather than
seizing upon the rarity of the event and following advice urging a
formal, scientific enquiry into whether "HIV" antibodies are caused by
infection with a retrovirus,(134) the College accepted these data as
proof of cross-infection but concluded "The mode of transmission is
What proof is there for the existence of HIV?
Scientific evidence for the existence of a retrovirus must be
consistent with the definition of a retrovirus as a particular kind of
replicating, microscopic particle. Thus researchers must demonstrate the
correct size, shape and construction of particles; that these particles
have been purified and analysed and contain RNA as well as an enzyme
that makes DNA from RNA (reverse transcription); and that the particles
are infectious, that is, when pure particles are introduced into fresh
cell cultures, identical progeny appear. The latter necessitates a
second round of purification and analysis. Indeed, although this method
is entirely logical and was deemed essential at a meeting held at the
Pasteur Institute in 1973,(135,136) it has been ignored by all HIV
Although there are electron microscope (EM) pictures from unpurified
cell cultures of particles purported to be "HIV", it was not until March
1997 that EMs of "purified HIV" were published.(137,138) Yet such data
is the first, most essential step in attempts to prove particles are a
virus, and for subsequent extraction of constituents for analysis and
use as diagnostic reagents. These long awaited pictures reveal "purified
HIV" to be a tangle of cellular debris. Scattered amongst this are scant
particles which, without evidence, the authors claim are the HIV
particles which "copurify" (sic) with the cellular material.
Close examination of these particles as well as other evidence in the
papers show they are too large, wrongly shaped, have too high a mass and
are devoid of knobs HIV experts unanimously assert are absolutely
essential for the "HIV" particle to cause infection. It is from this
material, HIV/AIDS experts and biotechnology companies obtain proteins
and RNA to use in tests to pronounce humans infected with a unique,
exogenous AIDS causing microbe.
On July 17th 1997, the French investigative television journalist
Djamel Tahi interviewed Professor Luc Montagnier in camera at the
Pasteur Institute in Paris. Montagnier was asked, "Why do the EM
photographs published by you [in 1983] come from the culture and not the
purification?". His reply was, "There was so little production of virus
it was impossible to see what might be in a concentrate of the virus
from the gradient ["pure virus"]. There was not enough virus to do that.
Of course one looked for it, one looked for it in the tissues at the
start, likewise the biopsy. We saw some particles but they did not
have the morphology typical of retroviruses. They were very
different. Relatively different. So with the [unpurified] cultures it
took many hours to find the first pictures. It was a Roman effort!…
Charles Dauget [an EM expert] looked at the plasma, the concentrate,
etc… he saw nothing major"(61) ( italics ours). Questioned about the
Gallo group he replied, "Gallo? I don’t know if he really purified. I
don’t believe so". This should have been both the beginning and the end
Retroviral-like particles are virtually ubiquitous in biological
material (139,140) including for example cell cultures and "in the
majority if not all, human placentas".(141) (One should note that
Montagnier’s "Roman effort" refers to EMs obtained from umilical cord
blood lymphocytes). However, as Gallo confirms, because they do not
replicate, the majority of retroviral-like particles are not
retroviruses.(139,142) The "HIV" particle has been "classified" into two
subfamilies and three genera of retroviruses. This is analogous to
describing a new species of mammal as human, a gorilla and an
orang-utan. Besides the "HIV" particle, cell cultures contain other
particles of numerous morphologies whose origin and role are
unknown.(18,143,144) A detailed study from Harvard (145) revealed the
identical "HIV" particle in 18/20 (90%) of AIDS as well as in 13/15
(88%) of non-AIDS related lymph node enlargements.
HIV experts claim to detect and even "isolate" HIV merely by
demonstrating "reverse transcription" in cultures. However, although
present in retroviruses, reverse transcription is not, as many HIV/AIDS
experts claim, unique to retroviruses or even viruses.(146,147) Well
before the AIDS era Gallo himself showed that chemically stimulated
(absolutely essential to "isolate HIV" from cultures) lymphocytes,
possess this function.(148,149)
The "HIV" proteins and antibodies
Although both Montagnier and Gallo have never published EMs to prove
the presence of retroviral-like particles in their "pure virus", and
Montagnier now concedes there were none, both groups and all others
since claim such material is "pure HIV". This claim is based on the fact
that such material contains proteins which react with antibodies present
in AIDS patients. However, this reasoning is untenable. Imagine a
scientist who mixes two solutions together, obtains a precipitate and
then proclaims the identity and source of several reactants. One does
not need a degree in chemistry to realise this is an impossibility.
Nonetheless, because cultures and antibodies derived from AIDS patients
react together, the proteins are declared to belong to "HIV" and the
antibodies the "HIV" specific antibodies. In fact, Gallo admits that for
him, an antibody test is the quintessence of "HIV isolation". During an
interview at the Geneva AIDS conference he said, "Sometimes we had
Western blot positive but we couldn’t isolate the virus. So we got
worried and felt we were getting false positives sometimes so we added
the Western blot. That’s all I can tell you. It was an experimental tool
when we added it and for us it worked well, ‘cos we could isolate the
virus when we did it".(150) However, HIV isolation is not an antibody
test and "HIV" proteins can only be defined by extracting them from
particles purified and proven to be a retrovirus. Such material has
never been shown to exist and such extraction never reported.
Notwithstanding, since the mid 1980s, HIV researchers claim that the
reaction between cell cultures and an antibody to merely one, the p24
protein, is "HIV isolation". Since "to isolate a virus" is to obtain
infectious particles separate from everything else, it is particularly
difficult to see how scientists can refer to a chemical reaction in this
The origin of the "HIV" proteins
According to Eleopulos and her colleagues, all data presented to date
is consistent with the "HIV" proteins being cellular. Using "HIV"
antibodies as probes, "HIV" proteins have been identified in the tissues
of persistently HIV negative, healthy individuals including blood
platelet and skin cells, thymus, tonsil and brain.(15) As a mark of the
bewildering status of the HIV theory, while HIV proteins could not be
found in the placentas of 75 HIV positive pregnant women,(151) they
could be found in the placentas of 25 healthy, HIV negative women.(152)
That the HIV proteins are cellular is further strengthened by a recent,
two-part experiment. Human lymphocytes, cultured in the absence of
material from AIDS patients, is "purified" as it would be to obtain the
"HIV" proteins. This "uninfected" material serves as a "mock virus" in
experiments involving both "HIV" and "SIV" (simian [monkey]
immunodeficiency virus, claimed similar to "HIV"). Analysis of "mock
virus" reveals qualitatively a series of proteins bearing the same
molecular weights as the proteins of "real" virus, strongly suggesting
that the "HIV" proteins are cellular because the existence of HIV
proteins demands they appear exclusively in cultures derived from AIDS
patients.(137) In the second experiment, monkeys are immunised on
several occasions with "mock virus", a procedure which subsequently
protects them from a "challenge" with "real" SIV.(153,154) However,
immunisation is specific. Immunisation with hepatitis vaccine does not
protect against poliomyelitis. It relies on exposure of the animal to
material specific to the organism against which protection is sought
resulting in the production of specific antibodies by the immune system.
Since proteins from the cells in which "SIV" is "grown" ("mock" virus),
protects against "real" SIV, these must be exceedingly similar if not
identical. That is, the "SIV", and by inference the "HIV" proteins, are
The "HIV genome"
As is the case with the "HIV" proteins, the RNA purported to be the
HIV genome has not been obtained from particles purified and proven
infectious but from the conglomerate material described above. Molecular
biologists have produced possibly more information about the "HIV"
genome than any other object in the universe. Nonetheless, there are no
reports of even one individual possessing a complete, full-length "HIV"
genome and there is no agreement as to how many genes HIV possesses.
Opinions have varied from four through to eight, nine or ten. Man and
chimpanzee DNA differ by less than 2% but variation in the composition
of the "HIV genome" (derived from analysis of "pieces" measuring 2% to
30% of the presumed total) measures between 3-40%. By comparison, two
RNA containing viruses (polio and influenza, the latter after 27 years
of dormancy,) vary by less than 1% as do RNA molecules self-assembled in
test tubes denied the organising influence of living cells.(155,156)
Given that the DNA sequence determines the composition of a virus’s
proteins, and the latter the physical, biochemical and biological
properties of a virus, how is it possible for such variation to
represent one and the same agent? For example, how is it possible that
HIV can induce the same antibodies and which can be recognised in a
universal antibody test containing the identical proteins? Since, as the
molecular biologist Duesberg reminds us, "there is a range, a small
range, in which you can mutate around without too much penalty, but as
soon as you exceed it you are gone, and you are not HIV any longer, or a
human any longer...then you are either dead or you are a monkey, or what
have you",(8) it is evident that whatever the "HIV DNA genome"
represents, it cannot be a virus.
Lessons from the past?
The evidence for the existence of Gallo’s "first human" retrovirus
(HL23V) was much stronger than that for HIV.(20,25,157) However, in 1980
the antibodies to the HL23V proteins were shown to occur following a
large variety of common non-infectious factors and in far more humans
than could have ever developed leukaemia.(158,159) Thus, from signifying
that an "infectious mode of transmission [of leukaemia] remains a real
possibility in humans" and "infection with an oncovirus [retrovirus] may
be extremely widespread",(160) the "first" human retrovirus abruptly
disappeared from the annals of science. At present no one, not even
Gallo, believes it existed. In the AIDS era experts recognise that
antibodies to the "HIV specific" proteins occur where there is no HIV
and in many more individuals than will ever develop AIDS. On what basis
then does HIV still exist?
THE DISSIDENT CASE, POLITICS AND PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY
The failures of the past fifteen years are fairly and squarely
affixed to the five Montagnier and Gallo 1983/84 Science papers.
That the titles of three of these papers contain the word "isolation"
and yet no such evidence was presented, must stand as a memorial to the
demise of editorial integrity. The dissident cases, that HIV does not
exist (Eleopulos), or if it does exist does not cause AIDS (Eleopulos
and Duesberg), ultimately implies there will be devastating outcomes in
terms of scientific credibility including the failure of peer review,
the reputations of many experts and non-experts, a challenge to the
trust the citizen places in the hands of government, scientific and
medical leaders as well as an uncertain period of ignominy for the
medical profession as a whole. Weaving a just resolution through this
maze of socio-medico-legal bedlam will require the utmost perspicacity
and tenacity from political leaders.
Perhaps there are already signs of quiet beginnings with the 1994
return of the discovery of HIV to the French by the Americans followed
by the most recent admissions of Montagnier in his 1997 interview.
Perhaps it is also written in the faces of the Nobel Committee and the
stubborn absence of a Nobel prize awarded for any of the 100,000
scientific papers representing HIV/AIDS research.
Over and above all the uncertainties surrounding the HIV/AIDS debate,
AIDS science and medicine must stand as the most remarkable case of
"exceptionalism" in history. The funding it attracts far outstrips that
justified by its prevalence and economic impact.(161) For example, over
the past 17 years Australia has a cumulative total of 7,766 cases of
AIDS including 5575 deaths.(162 ¥§) The big spenders are (in order) the
United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. Their
combined annual HIV/AIDS research budget amounts to US$1.8 billion for a
cumulative total of 761,572 AIDS patients (many of whom are dead). Of an
additional $US20 million spent by the European Union in 1994-98, most
"money goes to support travel and meeting costs rather than laboratory
research".(163) While thousands of dollars per patient are spent on
HIV/AIDS research, only a few dollars are spent on heart disease,
cancer, mental illness, suicide prevention or road trauma. The funding
paradox reaches epidemic, almost farcical proportions in developing
countries where Western AIDS workers spend their days dispensing advice
and condoms to a population dying for want of potable water, adequate
sanitation and nutrition, antibacterial, antitubercular and antimalarial
medicines. In a word, dying of poverty.
Currently, the annual cost of anti-HIV drugs for one person costs
about $US15,000 (which is greater than the entire health budget for many
a third world village). With 650,000 to 900,000 HIV positive patients in
the US as of July 1996, it would take $10 billion to pay for drugs
alone. This must be viewed against the World Health Organisation's
estimate that by the year 2000 there will be 30-40 million HIV infected
people. Without HIV, AIDS patients, specialist AIDS units and their
employees can rationally be absorbed into existing infrastructure of
clinics and hospitals. The pursuit of expensive drugs designed to kill
HIV will be irrelevant as will be the travail of the legions of HIV
researchers. The same applies to AIDS councils, the armies of AIDS
educators, AIDS fund raisers, volunteers and AIDS organisations. In the
US alone there are 93,000 of the latter, one for every four persons ever
diagnosed with AIDS.(34)
Homo sapiens (thinking man), was not named in vain. An
honourable society provides unfettered information and encourages its
members to make rational choices. Epidemiology shows that the
development of a positive "HIV" antibody test and AIDS is not so much
related to a given sexual practice but rather to the frequency of
passive anal intercourse in both men and women. It follows that AIDS is
not a disease of sexual orientation. As far as women are concerned, it
is prudent to note that in absolute terms, innumerably more women than
men engage in anal intercourse. Thus AIDS is not unlike the case of the
recently appended AIDS defining disease cervical cancer which, long
before the AIDS era, was known to be related to the frequency of vaginal
intercourse. Even so, it is not the act itself but the very high
frequencies of the act which is pathogenic.
As serious as public reaction to an ill conceived retrovirus may
prove, it will not be anywhere as serious as the legal backlash. There
are countless individuals alive who believe they are infected with a
deadly microbe, many of whom are currently treated with potentially
toxic drugs with no proven benefit. They avoid intimacy, avoid having
children and sometimes even casual contact with others. It would take a
flotilla of poet laureates to voice the collective pain and suffering
engendered by such a mistake. It would take an army of mathematically
gifted lawyers to quantify, and the nation's coffers to compensate,
those who lives have been ruined by what Neville Hodgkinson has called
"the greatest scientific blunder of the 20th century".(29) This is not
to mention patients and relatives who have died at their own hands. In
1987 former US Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida told an AIDS conference
of a tragic case where twenty two blood donors were informed they were
HIV infected on the basis of an ELISA test. Seven then committed
In June this year the Swiss AIDS analyst Michael Baumgartner
persuaded United Nations officials to include a dissident session at the
XIIth International AIDS Conference held in Geneva. Speakers included
Huw Christie, the editor of Continuum magazine, AIDS analyst and
documentary film maker Joan Shenton, epidemiologist Professor Gordon
Stewart, retrovirologist and electron microscopist Professor Etienne de
Harven, virologist Dr. Stefan Lanka and, by satellite from Perth, Eleni
Eleopulos and her group from the Royal Perth Hospital. In the audience
were observers from the Pasteur Institute and the US National Institutes
for Health. The topic of the session was a scientific critique of the
HIV antibody tests and the evidence for the existence of HIV. At the
official press conference held after the meeting, Professor Bernhard
Hirschel, chairman of the Organising Committee, accused the speakers of
"using outdated and untrustworthy scientific data". However, the
"outdated" data is that of Montagnier and Gallo which led to the 1984
proclamation that HIV is the cause of AIDS. That considered
"untrustworthy" is the HIV experts’ own data.
Notwithstanding these and many other challenges to the current dogma,
HIV/AIDS experts are not in the least disquieted by sceptical patients,
relatives or scientists and inveigh heavily against inquisitive
journalists alleging great harm to public health. Thus it appears the
only hope for an immediate resolution of this troubled issue is lawyers
appearing for plaintiffs desiring judgements that they are or are not
infected with an AIDS causing virus. However, even if an examination of
"HIV science" is destined to be scrutinised by courts of law, at present
one must be realistic that in the short term the status quo is
extremely unlikely to change.
A real debate?
Nonetheless, it is inexorably drawing nearer to the time when world
governments will convene an international, adjudicated debate on this
subject. In contrast to the 13,775 participants from 177 countries who
attended the June Geneva AIDS Conference, this should be a small
gathering where a dozen or so experts from each side put their
respective cases to a disinterested group of scientists of the utmost
stature, for example, another dozen made up largely of Nobel laureates.
There is a precedent for such a ‘consensus conference’ or ‘conference
de citoyens’ in common sense and "along the lines of a model
invented in Scandinavia and since applied in the United Kingdom and
elsewhere". A "jury" of 14 people "screened for independence from
interested parties" have issues "debated in front of them by scientists,
non-governmental organizations, industrialists and other bodies…The
power of public research bodies is probably the best guarantee of
independence with respect to private sector research and the influence
of multinationals".(165) By AIDS standards, funding for such a meeting
would be trivial. Indeed, such would be its significance it would make
money for the organisers.
Perhaps a disinterested observer could be forgiven for concluding
that, although we are approaching the eighteenth year of the AIDS era,
and have spent many billions of dollars on treatments and research, the
words of Duesberg continue to taunt us: "By any measure, the war on AIDS
has been a colossal failure...our leading scientists and policymakers
cannot demonstrate that their efforts have saved a single life".(1)
Perhaps those of Eleopulos group are of even greater portent: "The
single most important obstacle in finding the explanation for AIDS is
the belief in HIV.(19,26) In his recent book, "Dancing Naked in the
Mind Field", Dr. Kary Mullis writes, "Years from now, people will
find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those
who excommunicated Galileo".(2) Indeed, it was Galileo who counseled,
"In Science the authority embodied in the opinion of thousands is not
worth a spark of reason on one man". Perhaps, seventeen years in, we
should all pause, look around, and then take a long look back.
Dr. Valendar F. Turner, Department of Emergency Medicine, Royal
Perth Hospital, Perth, West Australia. Andrew McIntyre, Freelance
Journalist, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Voice 08 92242662
The authors gratfully acknowledge the assistance of Mr. Peter Bloch
of General Media International and Penthouse Magazine New York City for
making available excerpts of Dr. Mullis’ forthcoming book.
*US journalist Christine Johnson's interview (now available in six
languages) with the leader of the Perth group, was reviewed by scholar
and international gay media personality Professor Camille Paglia, in her
column in the US Salon magazine October 28th 1997: "For a superb
critique of the scandalously overpoliticized scientific research on
AIDS, see Christine Johnson's long interview with Australian
biophysicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos in the new issue of the British
AIDS magazine Continuum. The American major media have effectively
suppressed long-standing questions about whether the AIDS test is
reliable or whether an HIV virus in fact exists at all".
**On May 5th 1998, two US Republicans said they were exploring ways
to give a comfortable retirement to 1,500 chimpanzees that were bred for
AIDS research. Accompanied by primate expert Jane Goodall, House Speaker
Newt Gingrich and Rep. Jim Greenwood, R-Penn. said they were working on
a bill to set up sanctuaries for the chimps. The chimps, bred in the
United States specifically for AIDS research, did not turn out to be the
effective models that scientists had anticipated. With no research use,
the primates that are man's closest cousins are languishing in cages at
an annual cost of $US7.3 million.
§ In 1988, Eleopulos' paper that HIV does not cause Kaposis' sarcoma
was thrice rejected by the Medical Journal of Australia on the advice of
an "established expert". The reviewer stated, "The author tries to argue
that Kaposis' sarcoma cannot be caused by HIV infection, and that
therefore AIDS is not due to HIV infection. The arguments put forward by
the author are quite unsatisfactory, and are not supported by even a
desultory reading of the literature quoted. In addition, the author
fails to examine the body of epidemiological, immunological and cellular
literature concerning the pathology, pathogenesis and clinical
associations of this fascinating manifestation of HIV infection". Yet
this is the very "epidemiological, immunological and cellular
literature" which eventually led the "established experts" to accept
that "this fascinating manifestation of HIV infection", is not caused by
¥ Asked to comment at the Geneva conference on the fact that England
and Wales have dropped the use of the WB to "confirm" positive HIV
ELISAs, Gallo commented, "Well, the bulk of the world uses it. If some
technology comes across better I’d be the first to say do it. I mean
obviously. The Western blot’s a valuable test as defining the proteins
that you have antibodies to. Everybody uses it experimentally and most
people use it around the world. Not in Eng…,Britain doesn’t use it,
maybe there are two countries that have found a better way. God bless
§§ In 1997 the Perth group attempted a second time to engage the
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in debating the HIV/AIDS
controversy by submitting a paper entitled "A critical analysis of the
evidence for the isolation of HIV"
(www.virusmyth.com/aids/data/epappraisal.htm). It is editorial policy to
"welcome personal views of surgeons on a variety of topics", and to
publish papers on "current and controversial issues". Although both
reviewers accepted the bulk of the scientific arguments and found the
paper "interesting reading", they advised against publication because,
in their view, an analysis of evidence for the isolation of HIV was of
"no real relevance…to a surgical audience" or "would be of little
interest or use to the majority of readers of the Australian and New
Zealand Journal of Surgery".
¥§ Of the 7766 Australian AIDS cases, 387 (5%) are reported in the
"heterosexual contact" exposure category. However, 22 of these qualify
on the basis of "Sex with injecting drug user", 35 "Sex with bisexual
male", 56 "From high prevalence country" (where heterosexual spread is
deemed dominant), 47 "Sex with HIV-infected person, exposure not
specified", 170 "Not further specified". Thus injecting drug use, anal
intercourse in women, the presumption of any form of sexual intercourse
and lack of sufficient data question the mode of acquiring HIV infection
in at least 330 (85%) of individuals listed in this exposure
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