Has Montagnier discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus? 25 November 2003
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Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos,
Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso

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Re: Has Montagnier discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus?

Has Montagnier discovered the Human Immunodeficiency Virus?

In this debate a lot has been said about the variability in nucleic acids and amino acids of RNA viruses. The problem of the HIV variability was introduced by us only in regard to its effects on protein structure and function, molecular testing, design of vaccines and antibody testing.

Brian Foley agreed with us that amino acid variabilities leads to functional variabilities. Christopher Noble agreed that amino acid variability will require the use of different antigens in the antibody test kits, but could not show that this is the case for the confirmatory HIV antibody tests. Neither of them has made any comments in regard to defining of infectivity in molecular terms, vaccine design and protein structure.

Let us now assume that segments of RNA with sequence variability between 1-95% do define the same RNA virus with the same biological properties such as those of say, polio, influenza or "HIV".

Would then Brian Foley and Christopher Noble tell us whether in 1983 Montagnier discovered the biological entity now known as "HIV"? YES or NO. If yes, what is the evidence in his paper "that a virus, later called HIV, can be found in patients that have AIDS"? What is the evidence in his 1983 paper (1) that such a virus exists in anyone?

(1) Barre-Sinoussi F, Chermann JC, Rey F, et al 1983. Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Science 220:868-871.

Competing interests: None declared