AIDS origins opposed to scientific consensus

AIDS origins opposed to scientific consensus

:"This article contains hypotheses not supported by scientific evidence. For current scientifically based hypotheses, see AIDS origin."There are a number of ideas about AIDS which make claims about the origins and/or nature of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS that differ radically from scientific consensus. These range from suggestions that AIDS was the inadvertent result of experiments in the development of vaccines, to claims that HIV was developed by scientists working for the U.S. government. While at some point in the past, some of these theories were investigated as reasonable hypotheses within the scientific community, this is no longer the case: present evidence is taken by the vast majority of the scientific community, to indicate that AIDS originated in Africa in the mid 1930s from the closely related Simian immunodeficiency virus, today found in monkeys and chimpanzees (see AIDS origin).

Man-made origin of AIDS

* OPV hypothesis:Edward Hooper, a former BBC correspondent, has advanced the "contaminated polio vaccine" theory for the origins of HIV and AIDS. In his exhaustively researched book, "The River" [Hooper, Edward, The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS, Boston, MA : Little, Brown and Co., c1999, 1070 pages. ] , Hooper advances the theory that HIV1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a mutation or variant of, or the result of animal-to-human transmission of, SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus), a virus found in the chimpanzee. He lays blame on Dr. Hilary Koprowski, a virologist working for Philadelphia's Wistar Research Institute, who allegedly used hastily concocted chimpanzee kidney culture medium from a Stanleyville research laboratory to create millions of doses of oral polio vaccine for a mass vaccination program in the Belgian colony of the Belgian Congo. The experimental vaccine was administered to millions of natives in the Belgian Congo without their informed consent. The research was partially funded by the U.S. Government. Hooper points out inconsistencies in what Koprowski and his team said they did, and what workers in Koprowski's laboratories and at his chimpanzee research camp said was done. He describes Koprowski's single-minded drive to beat Drs. Salk and Sabin in developing the first commercially-available polio vaccine, and posits that this was a factor in the use of the contaminated vaccine.

:The contaminated polio vaccine theory was supported by the influential evolutionary biologist and Oxford University professor, W. D. Hamilton, who died as a result of contracting malaria on one of his trips to Africa to seek proof for the theory. On the other hand, other scientists, such as University of Arizona professor Michael Worobey, have conducted research that contradicts the theory. [cite journal |author=Worobey M, Santiago ML, Keele BF, "et al" |title=Origin of AIDS: contaminated polio vaccine theory refuted |journal=Nature |volume=428 |issue=6985 |pages=820 |year=2004 |month=Apr |pmid=15103367 |doi=10.1038/428820a |url=]

:The 2004 Emmy-nominated documentary film, The Origin of AIDS [ [ NFB Film Collection: The Origin of AIDS] ] , directed by Peter Chappell and Catherine Peix, traces the evidence laid out by Hooper, and shows interviews with Dr. Koprowski that seemed to be contradictory with the interviews with local laboratory workers who had worked at the Stanleyville research laboratory. [ [ CBC Witness: The Origins of AIDS] ("AOL Video")]
* In an interview by Time magazine with Nobel Peace Prize laureate and environmental activist Wangari Maathai, it was alleged that Maathai had said that "AIDS is a biological weapon manufactured by the developing world to wipe out the black race". [cite web | author=Faris, Stephan | title=10 Questions: Wangari Maathai | | date=2004-10-10 | url=,13005,901041018-713166,00.html | accessdate=2007-03-19 ] Maathai subsequently rejected that in a written statement issued in December of 2004: "I neither say nor believe that the virus was developed by white people or white powers in order to destroy the African people. Such views are wicked and destructive." [ [ from the Green Belt Movement website- Wangari Maathai's "The Challenge of AIDS in Africa"] ]

* Jakob Segal, a former biology professor at Humboldt University, proposed that HIV was engineered at a U.S. military laboratory at Fort Detrick, by splicing together two other viruses, Visna and HTLV-1. According to his theory, the new virus, created between 1977 and 1978, was tested on prison inmates who had volunteered for the experiment in exchange for early release. He further suggested that it was through these prisoners that the virus was spread to the population at large. He has been accused, however, by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin as having been disseminating disinformation on behalf of the Soviet Union. [cite book|last=Andrew |first=Christopher|coauthors=Vasili Mitrokhin|title=The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB|publisher=Basic Books|year=1999|id=ISBN 0-465-00310-9, p.319]

* Dr. Alan Cantwell, author of "AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic" and "Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot", says that HIV is a genetically modified organism developed by U.S. Government scientists, and that it was introduced into the population through Hepatitis B experiments performed on gay and bisexual men between 1978–1981 in major U.S. cities. Cantwell claims that these experiments were directed by Dr. Wolf Szmuness, and that there was an ongoing government cover-up of the origins of the AIDS epidemic. Similar theories have been advanced by Dr. Robert B. Strecker, Matilde Krim and by Milton William Cooper, author of Behold A Pale Horse

* Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz, author of "Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola. Nature, Accident or Intentional?" and "Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism and Toxic Warfare", has advanced the theory that the AIDS virus was engineered by such U.S. Government defense contractors as Litton Bionetics for the purposes of bio-warfare and "population control."

Alternative ideas regarding causation, origin or treatment

* Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, along with other prominent members of the ruling African National Congress party, has argued that AIDS is the result of poverty, chronic disease, malnutrition and other environmental factors. [cite web | title=Deadly meddling. Thabo Mbeki shows no sign of giving up his misguided views on AIDS | publisher=Economist GB. pg 82 print edition | date=2001-11-01 | url= | accessdate=2007-03-19 ] Mbeki drew on the ideas of AIDS denialists, such as Peter Duesberg, Robert Root-Bernstein, and Kary Mullis (inventor of polymerase chain reaction), who have argued that HIV does not cause AIDS, nor the sole factor in AIDS etiology. These arguments are made despite overwhelming evidence that HIV infection fulfills Koch's postulates, so therefore is the etiology of AIDS.Fact|date=June 2008 It has been suggested that the ANC leadership adopted this position as a political expedient, intended to deflect criticism that the ANC had not done enough to fight AIDS in South Africa. [ [ "Stop Denying the Killer Bug"] Economist, 2002 Feb 23-Mar 1;:49-51 abstract only sighted. retrieved 30 March 2008] .
In 2000, two statements by government spokespeople, (one later retracted), placed the financial cost of treating pregnant HIV positive women and the subsequent cost to the state of raising the child as central in the decision of whether to provide anti-retroviral drug treatment. [cite web | title=Cost of Treatment: Political Debate | publisher=Journ-AIDS | date=September 2000 | url= | accessdate=2007-03-19 ] Also in 2000, the Johannesburg "Mail & Guardian" reported that Mbeki claimed that the CIA was secretly promoting the view that HIV causes AIDS, and that Western drug companies were promoting that view as well, in order to increase sales of their anti-AIDS drugs. However, these putative remarks of Mbeki's were based on reports about a leaked text for a speech Mbeki was to give to an ANC caucus, and the news reports about this event did not directly quote any such text. [cite web | author=Barrell, Howard | title=President tells party caucus that Western interests are seeking to discredit him and South Africa | publisher=Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg) | date=2000-10-06 | url= | accessdate=2007-03-19 ]

* Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, and author of "AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame", describes beliefs held by many Haitians that, while official accounts in the United States blame Haitians for the advent of AIDS in the West, the disease was actually sent to Haiti by Americans.Fact|date=May 2008 A common theme is that the U.S. wanted to get rid of Haitians because too many had immigrated to the States to work and jobs were running low. Assessing these (and other) conspiracy theories with a "hermeneutic of generosity," Farmer finds that they are based on a great deal more truth than many official accounts from the early days of the epidemic. Epidemiological studies reveal that the virus did indeed enter Haiti via Americans - gay tourists who had sex with young male sex workers, forced to perform this work due to abject poverty. The high rates of poverty, malnutrition, and poor medical infrastructure allowed HIV to spread easily within the Haitian population. By engaging in a macro-level analysis and examining the history and political economy of Haiti, Farmer describes the important role the slave trade, Western (neo)colonial powers, and the United States in particular, played in the current poverty of Haitians. In the words of Farmer, "AIDS, although a new disease, is deeply embedded in social and economic structures long in place... violence, poverty, and inequality are the fault lines along which HIV spreads." [cite book |author=Farmer, Paul |title=AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame |publisher=University of California Press |location=Berkeley |year=2006 |pages= |isbn=0-520-24839-2 |edition=New ed. |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=]

ee also

* AIDS origin


External links

* [ Is AIDS a manmade disease?]
* [ Horowitz debates HIV researcher Abbie Smith on the way of reason podcast]

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