May 8, 2005
What proof is there that the spread of HIV is not part of a deliberate strategy to reduce the population of the poor, people of colour, and gays? Anyone else is collateral damage.
Dr. Ronald MacArthur, testified before Congress July 1, 1969: "The dramatic progress being made in the field of molecular biology led us to investigate the relevance of this field of science to biological warfare. A small group of experts considered this matter and provided the following observation:
1. All biological agents up to the present time are representative of naturally occurring disease, and are thus known by scientists throughout the world. They are easily available to qualified scientists for research, either for offensive or defensive purposes.
2. Within the next five to ten years, it would probably be possible to make a new infective microorganism which could differ in certain important aspects from any known disease-causing organism. Most important of these is that it might be refractory to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease.
3. A research program to explore the feasibility of this could be completed in approximately five years at a total cost of $10 million." -Department of Defense appropriations for 1970, House of Representatives Subcommittee, p. 129, courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act.)
The 1972 Bulletin of the World Health Organization in an article entitled "Virus-Associated Immunopathology: Animal models and Implications for Human Disease." states: "An attempt should be made to ascertain whether viruses can, in fact, exert selective effects on immune function, e.g. by . . . affecting T cell function as opposed to B cell function. The possibility should also be looked into that the immune response to the virus itself may be impaired if the infecting virus damages more or less selectively the cells responding to the viral antigens."
Denying funds to those who promote condoms, refusing funds for generic drugs, promoting drugs with side effects. All part of the same strategy.
Response from Dr. Conway
It is important to address your concerns and statements in a straightforward way.
It is correct to say that progresses in molecular biology have been significant. It is true that such progresses could be used to produce biological weapons. It also allowed us to define HIV as the cause of AIDS in near-record time and design specific approaches to control it.
It is correct to say that new animal models are needed to study the effects of viruses on the immune system. Although such information could be used in a negative way, it has also been used to figure out how HIV affects the immune system in a specific way. This has led to the design of new immune-based approaches to treat HIV that are soon to be tested in clinical trials.
Initial decisions to withhold funds to distribute condoms and generic drugs have been decried. Their more widespread availability through United Nations and Gates Foundation programs (among others) is now saving lives.
Early HIV drugs had significant side effects. Newer drugs are designed in such a way to allow those living with HIV to take their medications simply and with fewer concerns about short and long-term toxicity.
With great knowledge comes great responsibility. There is always the chance to do good, or not. I am pleased that in the field of HIV, we have, more often than not, chosen to do good...
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