The Theory That HIV Causes Aids Now Questioned
By International Scientists
The international nonprofit scientific organization Rethinking
AIDS gave its full support today to 37 senior researchers, medical
doctors and legal professionals who are requesting that the medical
journal Science withdraw four seminal papers on HIV authored by
Dr. Robert Gallopapers widely touted as proof that HIV is
the "probable cause of AIDS." An online posting of the
letter can be found here.
"With new findings that undermine the scientific integrity
and veracity of Gallo's four papers, the entire basis of the theory
that HIV causes AIDS may now be questioned," says Rethinking
AIDS president David Crowe.
The letter to the journal comes at a time when the microbiology
world is abuzz about Gallo's omission from the 2008 Nobel Prize
in medicine for the discovery of HIV, contrary to an international
agreement that the two teams should share credit. French scientists
Drs. Luc Montagnier and Francoise Barré-Sinoussi are instead
to be given the award, a decision that also implicitly questions
the scientific integrity of Gallo's claim of the discovery. Montagnier,
however, admitted on camera more than a decade ago that his experiments
did not purify any virus.
The four papers were originally published on May 4, 1984, a few
days after a press conference by Gallo announcing he had discovered
the "probable cause of AIDS." Now, a British investigative
journalist has shown that Gallo's claim was based on last-minute
alterations to documents that make false claims about the results
of his lab work and research experiments. The letter to Science
sent by the 37 experts on Monday, Dec. 1, 2008, includes a copy
of Gallos handwritten changes to the article, a letter from
an electron microscopy expert indicating that Gallos samples
did not contain any virus, and a letter from Gallo to a researcher
verifying that HIV could not be purified directly from human materials.
The investigative conclusion prompting the letter to Science
was made by journalist Janine Roberts, author of Fear of the Invisible,
a book that examines the origin of several disease theories. "I
was shocked when I read the original draft of the key scientific
paper now widely cited as proving HIV causes AIDS," says
Roberts. "Gallo's handwritten last-minute changes had reversed
what the scientists in his lab had originally concluded. This
demonstrates a stunning disregard for the scientific process and
a very disturbing breach of public trust."
It is clear that the seminal research published on HIV contained
unjustified claims and alterations. In 1993, governmental investigators
determined Gallo had so poorly recorded his key and much-cited
experiment that it was impossible to repeat and verify it.
In the early 1990s, several highly critical reports on the research
underlying Gallo's papers were produced as a result of governmental
inquiries working under the supervision of scientists nominated
by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.
The Office of Research Integrity (ORI) of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services concluded that the lead paper of
the four was "fraught with false and erroneous statements"
and that the ORI believes that the careless and unacceptable
keeping of research records . . . reflects irresponsible laboratory
management that has permanently impaired the ability to retrace
the important steps taken." Further, a Congressional Subcommittee
on Oversight and Investigations produced a staff report on the
papers, containing scathing criticisms of their integrity.
an international group of more than 2,600 scientists, doctors,
journalists, health advocates and others offers several
eminent medical and scientific experts to comment on this and
other AIDS issues currently in the news.