Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso
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Where are the experiments which prove HIV isolation, sexual transmission and antibody specificity?
In his rapid response “Your argument has more holes in it than something full of holes used for comparative purposes” (8 May 2003), Tony Floyd wrote “Those encouraging ‘critical analysis’ should also encourage accurate analysis”. We go further by saying that those who encourage ‘accurate analysis’ should read a paper in its entirety when presenting their “accurate analysis” rather than merely quoting from the abstract and then drawing conclusions which may not be supported by the data in the paper. If Tony had read the 1997 paper by Bess et al (1), by looking at figure 1 in the paper where the electrophoretic patterns of proteins in “purified HIV” were compared with those in “mock virus”, he may have come to the same conclusion as we did. At the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel Meeting in Johannesburg, July 2000, we expressed the view that the only difference between the two sets of proteins was quantitative. Not qualitative. The then president of the South African Medical Research Council, William Makgoba, accused us of misinterpreting Bess’ findings. In our subsequent correspondence with Julian Bess, he agreed that one could come to our conclusion. Therefore, since the same proteins are present in both the “purified HIV” and the “mock virus”, a bright medical student could not fail to conclude that the proteins in the “purified HIV” are cellular proteins. If there are no viral proteins, there can be no virus.
We do not know why Julian Bess, for whom we have the highest regard, “has continued to work on vaccines targeting HIV” (2), if indeed he is doing so. You will have to ask him why.
In the same rapid response (8 May 2003), Tony Floyd wrote: “Does the other author cited (Gluschankof) provide any reason to doubt the existence of HIV or the validity of HIV testing?” Yes, Gluschankof did. In the introduction to his paper, Gluschankof wrote: “[HIV] used for biochemical and serological analyses or as immunogens is frequently prepared by centrifugation through sucrose gradients", but in none of the studies "the purity of the virus preparation has been verified". In other words, Gluschankof agreed with our longstanding claim that no proof existed up to 1997 that the “HIV” proteins and genome originated from a “purified” virus and tried to answer our equally longstanding request of electron micrographs showing “purified HIV”. Again, if Tony had read Gluschankof’s paper (3), he would have noticed that figure 2 consists of electron micrographs. In the two electron micrographs which are supposed to contain “purified HIV” the overwhelming majority of particles are vesicles (cellular fragments). The caption to these two electron micrographs reads “Purified vesicles…” not “Purified HIV”. Also the very few particles present in the two electron micrographs “arrowed” as being “HIV” do not possess all the morphological features attributed to HIV. Furthermore, particles indistinguishable from “HIV” are present in the electron micrograph originating from non-infected cells.
Quoting from the abstract of a 2001 paper by Gluschankof (4), Tony Floyd wrote: “The persistence of HIV-1 within resting memory CD4 T cells constitutes a major obstacle in the control of HIV-1 infection.” If Tony had read their paper, he would have seen that in this paper, the “Productive infection was assessed by, measuring p24gag in the culture medium using an HIV-1 p24 antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit”. There are two problems with this:
· The presence of HIV was determined an antibody-antigen reaction which has never been proven specific. That such a reaction cannot be used to prove HIV infection has been clearly demonstrated in the following study. In 1992, Jorg Shupbach, the principle author of one of the first four 1984 Science papers published by Gallo's group on HIV isolation, reported that the whole blood cultures of 49/60 (82%) of "presumably uninfected but serologically indeterminate individuals and 5/5 seronegative blood donors were found positive for p24".(5)
· There is no proof that p24 is an HIV protein. In 1983, Montagnier and his colleagues claimed to have proven that p24 was the main protein of HIV (6). As we wrote in a previous rapid response (13 March 2003) “According to Luc Montagnier, to characterise the HIV proteins the virus must be purified. Although in 1983 he and his group claimed to have done so, in 1997 he admitted that even after a "Roman effort", in the electron micrographs of their "purified" virus they could not see any particles with the "morphology typical of retroviruses.”(7) Again, a bright medical student would conclude, as we did, that the p24 protein could not be an HIV protein or even the protein of any other retrovirus.
The BOTTOM LINE is that Tony Floyd or anyone else needs to present an ACCURATE ANALYSIS rather than merely quoting from abstracts and making conclusions merely from the abstracts and titles of papers. As we have repeatedly stated in previous rapid responses, if anyone wants to support the HIV theory of AIDS then it absolutely necessary to show that experiments have been performed yielding:
· Evidence proving that the HIV antibody tests are specific.
· Evidence proving that HIV is heterosexually transmitted.
· Evidence proving that HIV has been isolated/purified.
As we wrote in a previous rapid response (24 March 2003):
“To claim proof for specificity there MUST BE at least one study and a few confirmatory studies where the antibody antigen reaction (assuming that the antigens are HIV) is compared with the present or absence of HIV, that is, with HIV isolation/purification. This study must include a statistically significant number of both patients who have AIDS as well as patients who do not have AIDS but are sick. In addition, the test must be done blind.
Any study claiming proof for heterosexual transmission MUST satisfy at least the following conditions:
· Be prospective
To claim proof for purification/isolation there must be at least one study and a few confirmatory studies where the supernatant from infected cells is banded in sucrose gradients:
· Electron micrographs of the 1.16gm/ml band contain nothing else but particles within the morphological characteristics of retroviruses
· The particles are infectious. The experiment must use controls, that is, banded supernatant from non- infected cultures which, with the exception of “HIV”, have been treated exactly in the same way as the infected cultures. Also this experiment must be performed blindly.
To continue a fruitful debate and for Tony Floyd or anyone else to support the HIV theory of AIDS, such experimental evidence must be presented.
(1) Bess JW Jr, Gorelick RJ, Bosche WJ, Henderson LE, Arthur LO. Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations. Virology. 1997 Mar 31;230(1):134-44.
(2) Chertova E, Crise BJ, Morcock DR, Bess JW Jr, Henderson LE, Lifson JD. Sites, mechanism of action and lack of reversibility of primate lentivirus inactivation by preferential covalent modification of virion internal proteins. Curr Mol Med. 2003 May;3(3):265-72.
(3) Gluschankof P, Mondor I, Gelderblom HR, Sattentau QJ. Cell Membrane Vesicles Are a Major Contaminant of Gradient-Enriched Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 Preparations. Virology 1997 230: 125-133
(4) Gondois-Rey F, Biancotto A, Pion M, Chenine AL, Gluschankof P, Horejsi V, Tamalet C, Vigne R, Hirsch I. Production of HIV-1 by resting memory T lymphocytes. AIDS. 2001 Oct 19;15(15):1931-40.
(5) Schupbach J, Jendis JB, Bron C, Boni J, Tomasik Z. False-positive HIV- 1 virus cultures using whole blood. AIDS 1992 6:1545-6
(6) Barré-Sinoussi F, Chermann JC, Rey F, Nugeyre MT, Chamaret S, Gruest J, Dauguet C, Axler-Blin C, Vezinet-Brun F, Rouzioux, C, Rozenbaum W, Montagnier L. Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Science 1983 220:868 -71
(7) Tahi D. Did Luc Montagnier discover HIV? Text of video interview with Professor Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute July 18th 1997. Continuum 1998 5:30-34.
Competing interests: None declared