Will Bennett now isolate 'HIV' via de Harven's methodology? 8 February 2005
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Alexander H Russell,

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Re: Will Bennett now isolate 'HIV' via de Harven's methodology?

As predicted, Nicholas Bennett sidetracked my challenge for him to isolate 'HIV' via Etienne de Harven’s methodology with the following obfuscation:

"Can he please give citations where the De Harven method of peripheral blood isolation of simple retroviruses was used to prove infection with the following viruses: Influenza, Rabies, Epstein Barr Virus, Human papilloma virus and Adenovirus. Since these are such important and/or common human pathogens one would naturally expect such a procedure to have been performed."

Because the listed viruses above are not 'retroviruses'. I am quoting de Harven's methodology specifically in the case of the Friend murine oncovirus. Etienne de Harven's methodology of virus isolation detected tightly packed identical viral particles. Therefore this methodology should be used to detect the hypothetical 'HIV' if it is present in bodily fluids of a person deemed to be 'HIV' positive. If that methodology does not succeed in detecting tightly packed identical viral particles then there is no viral titre and the virus cannot be causing a disease.

Will Nicholas Bennett please stop prevaricating and admit pathogenically significant quantities of cell free infectious 'HIV' have never been found in any fresh sample of any bodily fluid. If you have to use PCR to augment the amount of virus before you actually find it or see it then there was obviously not much there to start with as Kary Mullis, the Nobel Prize winner for inventing PCR, observed: "quantitative PCR is an oxymoron" and I think he is in a better position to know this than Nicholas Bennett who has not won the Nobel Prize for isolating 'HIV' – indeed nor have Gallo or Montagnier. Neither Gallo or Montagnier published electronmicrographs of tightly packed identical viral ('HIV') particles. Isolation of 'HIV' has never been achieved because it does not exist.

Back to my still unanswered question: if Nicholas Bennett is so sure that 'HIV' exists he should be able to isolate it via Etienne de Harven's methodology and it would take about two to three days of his time. If Nicholas Bennett is convinced that 'HIV' is in the peripheral blood in sufficient quantities to cause disease then it should be possible to pellet it down using the methodology describe by de Harven.



Isolation standards

De Harven says that the collective lessons of retrovirology by 1970 led to an important fundamental conclusions: a 1.16 gm/ml band qualified as a retroviral isolate only after electron microscopy showed that it looked like one, and unstimulated cultures showed that it behaved like one. This is because on many occasions virologists obtained 1.16 gm/ml bands that flunked the electron microscopy test, including bands that contained nothing at all that even vaguely resembled viruses. And some 1.16 gm/ml bands that did resemble retroviral isolates failed to demonstrate any replicative capacity at all, and therefore qualified as isolates of non-viral objects that resembled retroviruses. De Harven says this conclusion holds even for 1.16 gm/ml bands that contain reverse transcriptase, which virologists have "found not to be unique for retroviruses, but instead a normal constituent of many cells."

Gallo lowers the standards

Nonetheless, prior to HIV's official birth in 1984, Gallo published the only three claims for isolation from human subjects of retroviruses, each one of which he said caused a different form of human leukemia. His claims flunked the strict criteria established previously by scientists demonstrating the existence of retroviruses in lab animals, and causally linking those retroviruses to cancer.

Gallo's "evidence" resembled what he'd later use to demonstrate HIV's existence and causal role in AIDS: the presumption that all 1.16 gm/ml bands that contain reverse transcriptase are "retroviral isolates"; the presumption that anything that vaguely resembles a retrovirus is a retrovirus; the use of stimulated cultures; micrographs of those cultures, but not of the density-purified bands; the failure to obtain them from uncultured plasma; the failure to use unstimulated cultures; the failure to obtain these bands from most of the patients examined; the failure to demonstrate that these bands affect virgin cultures in a way that explains the disease (rather than transforming the culture cells, Gallo's 1.16 gm/ml bands required that the culture cells already be cancerous); the failure to demonstrate that his bands contained a single RNA species and that it coded for the proteins in the band; the failure to demonstrate that the RNA contained a gene — in this case, an onc-gene — that could explain the disease.

"Why no micrographs of the 1.16 gm/ml bands themselves?" de Harven asks. "Most probably, Gallo's electron microscopy results from his 'isolates' were negative and swiftly ignored. The faith in retroviruses as pathogens assumed quasi-religious proportions," de Harven laments. "Since electron microscopy could not demonstrate viruses in the 1.16 bands from human subjects, we forgot about microscopy and started relying on 'markers.' Microscopy is time-consuming and skill-demanding. Who has time for that? Not when research funding was getting difficult and when major pharmaceutical corporations were starting to finance 'crash programs' for speedy answers.

"When retroviruses are legion, molecular markers provide a useful approach to quantification probably better than direct particle counting under the electron microscope (which I always found difficult). But without isolates, the use of markers is methodological nonsense. 'Markers' of what? We know that all of the so-called 'HIV markers' are totally non- specific."

Competing interests: None declared