everything you wanted to know about hiv
#112249 - 10/04/04 01:44 AM
Just go to http://www.hopkins-aids.edu/
click on the "publications" section.
In the drop down box, scroll to "Medical Mgmt of HIV Infection".
The manual will come up.
By Kary Mullis
In 1988 I was working as a consultant at Specialty Labs in Santa Monica,
setting up analytic routines for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). I
knew a lot about setting up analytic routines for anything with nucleic
acids in it because I had invented the Polymerase Chain Reaction. That's
why they had hired me.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), on the other hand, was
something I did not know a lot about. Thus, when I found myself writing a
report on our progress and goals for the project, sponsored by the
National Institutes of Health, I recog nized that I did not know the
scientific reference to support a statement I had just written: "HIV is
the probable cause of AIDS."
So I turned to the virologist at the next desk, a reliable and competent
fellow, and asked him for the reference. He said I didn't need one. I
disagreed. While it's true that certain scientific discov eries or
techniques are so well established that their sources are no longer
referenced in the contemporary literature, that didn't seem to be the case
with the HIV/AIDS connection. 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 con tinually referenced in the scientific papers
until that disease was cured and forgotten. But as I would soon learn, the
name of that individual - who would surely be Nobel material - was on the
tip of no one's tongue.
Of course, this simple reference had to be out there somewhere. Otherwise
tens of thousands of public servants and esteemed scientists of many
callings, trying to solve the tragic deaths of a large number of
homosexual and/or intravenous (IV) drug-using men between the ages of
twenty-five and forty, would not have allowed their research to settle
into one narrow channel of investigation. Everyone wouldn't fish in the
same pond unless it was well estab lished that all the other ponds were
empty. There had to be a pub lished paper, or perhaps several of them,
which taken together indicated that HIV was the probable cause of AIDS.
There just had to be.
I did computer searches, but came up with nothing. Of course, you can miss
something important in computer searches by not putting in just the right
key words. To be certain about a scientific issue, it's best to ask other
scientists directly. That's one thing that scientific conferences in
faraway places with nice beaches are for.
I was going to a lot of meetings and conferences as part of my job. I got
in the habit of approaching anyone who gave a talk about AIDS and asking
him or her what reference I should quote for that increasingly problematic
statement, "HIV is the probable cause of AIDS."
After ten or fifteen meetings over a couple years, I was getting pretty
upset when no one could cite the reference. I didn't like the ugly
conclusion that was forming in my mind: The entire campaign against a
disease increasingly regarded as a twentieth century Black Plague was
based on a hypothesis whose origins no one could recall. That defied both
scientific and common sense.
Finally, I had an opportunity to question one of the giants in HIV and
AIDS research, Dr Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, when he gave a
talk in San Diego. It would be the last time I would be able to ask my
little question without showing anger, and I figured Montagnier would know
the answer. So I asked him.
With a look of condescending puzzlement, Montagnier said, "Why don't you
quote the report from the Centers for Disease Control? "
I replied, "It doesn't really address the issue of whether or not HIV is
the probable cause of AIDS, does it?"
"No," he admitted, no doubt wondering when I would just go away. He looked
for support to the little circle of people around him, but they were all
awaiting a more definitive response, like I was.
"Why don't you quote the work on SIV [Simian Immunodeficiency Virus]?" the
good doctor offered.
"I read that too, Dr Montagnier," I responded. "What happened to those
monkeys didn't remind me of AIDS. Besides, that paper was just published
only a couple of months ago. I'm looking for the original paper where
somebody showed that HIV caused AIDS.
This time, Dr Montagnier's response was to walk quickly away to greet an
acquaintance across the room.
Cut to the scene inside my car just a few years ago. I was driving from
Mendocino to San Diego. Like everyone else by now, I knew a lot more about
AIDS than I wanted to. But I still didn't know who had determined that it
was caused by HIV. Getting sleepy as I came over the San Bernardino
Mountains, I switched on the radio and tuned in a guy who was talking
about AIDS. His name was Peter Duesberg, and he was a prominent virologist
at Berkeley. I'd heard of him, but had never read his papers or heard him
speak. But I listened, now wide awake, while he explained exactly why I
was having so much trouble finding the references that linked HIV to AIDS.
There weren't any. No one had ever proved that HIV causes AIDS. When I got
home, I invited Duesberg down to San Diego to present his ideas to a
meeting of the American Association for Chemistry. Mostly skeptical at
first, the audience stayed for the lecture, and then an hour of questions,
and then stayed talking to each other until requested to clear the room.
Everyone left with more questions than they had brought.
I like and respect Peter Duesberg. I don't think he knows necessarily what
causes AIDS; we have disagreements about that. But we're both certain
about what doesn't cause AIDS.
We have not been able to discover any good reasons why most of the people
on earth believe that AIDS is a disease caused by a virus called HIV.
There is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true.
We have also not been able to discover why doctors prescribe a toxic drug
called AZT (Zidovudine) to people who have no other complaint than the
presence of antibodies to HIV in their blood. In fact, we cannot
understand why humans would take that drug for any reason.
We cannot understand how all this madness came about, and having both
lived in Berkeley, we've seen some strange things indeed. We know that to
err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake.
I say this rather strongly as a warning. Duesberg has been saying it for a
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