Pat Fallon [email@example.com] wrote:
>> In the case of AIDS, I think it is even worse than you suggest.
> >See http://www.mmsweb.com/eykiw/aids/aids.htm for
> >some links to papers and articles to decide for yourself.
Hal [firstname.lastname@example.org] replied:
>http://www.skeptic.com/03.2.harris-aids.html is a 1994 article
>by Steve Harris, who is active in cryonics circles and a real
>sharp guy (probably known to many list members), refuting
>some of the objections of the "AIDS reappraisers".
That article does not address the points raised at the page I referenced.
As I read it, the AIDS dissidents are split into two main camps.
Duesberg and others, who accept that Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo had isolated HIV, that is, that they had proven the existence of a new, exogenously acquired retrovirus from AIDS patients. Duesberg then proceeds to argue that HIV is a harmless passenger virus. The Harris paper you cited address these arguments.
The other main camp is the Perth Group
[Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou, etc.], whose arguments I link with the above page. They point out that there are well established protocols for viral isolation, and that "HIV" was never isolated by those standards. As far as I can tell, Harris does not address that issue in the paper you cited.
I think he must have addressed these arguments in another paper, however. Stephan Lanka, wrote an article called "HIV: Reality or Artifact?", summarizing the views of the Perth Group, and then a follow-up called "Dr. Lanka Chats With Dr. Harris", subtitled " Dr. Stefan Lanka answers critic Steven B. Harris M.D.'s rejoinder to his paper, "HIV:Reality or Artifact". Both papers are linked from my page. I have not been able to find the rejoinder by Harris. If you come across it, I would be glad to put a link to it between the other two by Lanka.
Some recent developments have bolstered the arguments of The Perth Group, IMHO.
In their 1983 study Montagnier and his colleagues took the supernatant from cultures containing tissue derived from AIDS patients and banded it in sucrose density gradients. They claimed that the 1.16 gm/ml band represented purified virus [Barré-Sinoussi F, Chermann JC, Rey F. (1983). Isolation of a T-Lymphotrophic Retrovirus from a patient at Risk for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Science 220:868-871]
Some of the proteins and RNAs were considered to represent the retroviral proteins and retroviral genome respectively. Subsequently the proteins were used as antigens for the antibody tests and the nucleic acids for hybridization and PCR studies.
However, for some unknown reason, up to 1997, neither Montagnier’s group nor anybody else published electron micrographs of the 1.16gm/ml band showing that the band contained nothing else but particles with the morphological characteristics of retroviral particles, that is, purified particles.
The reason for this, at least for the Montagnier group, became obvious in an interview Montagnier gave in July 1997 to the French journalist Djamel Tahi. When Montagnier was asked why such electron micrographs were not published, his answer was because, even after "Roman effort", they could see no particles with "morphology typical of retroviruses". [Tahi D. (1998). Did Luc Montagnier discover HIV? Text of video interview with Professor Luc Montagnier at the Pasteur Institute July 18th 1997. Continuum 5:30-34]
In March of 1997, for the first time in the history of AIDS, elusive electron microscope images of 'HIV' collected or 'banded' at the official density required for retroviruses, 1.16 gm/ml, were published, by a research group in Germany. The electronmicrographs disclose "major contaminants" in "pure HIV".
http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/award.htm is an electron microscope of this cellular debris. Compare that EM with a proper viral isolate: http://www.virusmyth.com/aids/news/edhlettercont.htm.
Two 1997 articles in Virology discuss the problems the newly released EM's raise: HIV expert Hans Gelderblom of Berlin's Robert Koch Institute, whose photos of non-banded 'HIV' material have been the industrial benchmark since 1987, co-authored the first paper which describes the contamination as "an excess of vesicles" - particles of cellular proteins, that may contain DNA or RNA. In a consecutive paper, a US research team from the AIDS Vaccine Programme in Maryland reveal carefully, "It is unknown how these cellular proteins associate with the virus" and warn, "The presence of microvesicles in purified retroviruses has practical implications": both teams discuss the resulting nonspecifity of HIV tests.
[Gluschankof P, Mondor I, Gelderblom HR, Sattentau QJ. (1997). Cell membrane vesicles are a major contaminant of gradient-enriched human immunodeficiency virus type-1 preparations. Virol. 230:125-133.
Bess JW, Gorelick RJ, Bosche WJ, Henderson LE, Arthur LO. (1997). Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations. Virol. 230:134-144.]
The questions then arise:
Montagnier and later, Gallo, did not
see particles with "morphology typical of retroviruses". However, because they saw evidence of reverse transcriptise activity in the debris that banded at the density characteristic of viruses, they went ahead and claimed they had isolated a new virus, later named "HIV" and developed antibody tests using the proteins from this debris. RT activity alone, however, is not sufficient to prove viral isolation.
Human cells, in response to oxidative stress [like constant exposure to toxins or foreign proteins from injection of impure drugs like heroin or non-synthetic blood clotting factor, or receptive anal sex] can produce cellular debris and microvesicles. These arise from within [endogenous], and are not infectious virus. Some of these can also settle out at the 1.16 g/ml band characteristic of virus particles.
What we call HIV could be a product of the body’s own genetic material. Each one of us carries genetic remnants of ancient infections in our genome. These remnants are usually referred to as human endogenous retroviruses or HERVs. [Just this week, Dr. Cullen, a Howard Hughes Investigator, published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science about a HERV recently discovered that is similar to "HIV." ]
It’s now recognized that HERVs are likely involved in a number of biological processes, including the way cells in the body differentiate. There is also preliminary evidence that HERVs may be involved in some disease processes that affect the body’s immune system.
There is also evidence that HERVs can be activated by a variety of factors such as chemicals, radiation and viruses. If cells get damaged by toxic insults, HERVs may be awakened from their ancient slumber. "HIV" may well be a byproduct of that type of cellular damage.
The HIV antibody test might simply be picking up on human-produced “HIV” material. In this case, a positive test would mean that cells of the body had been sufficiently damaged to generate a reaction. A positive test would be a marker of disease — not necessarily that “HIV” is the cause of AIDS.
If Harris (or anyone else) could reference EM's which show a proper viral isolate, and confirm that the DNA or RNA extracted from that viral isolate codes for all the proteins; then step one of proving that a new virus, HIV, caused a syndrome, AIDS, would be met. It would mean there was a candidate virus isolated from sick patients. Then experiments could be done that satisfy Koch's Postulates. Until a virus is isolated, how can one productively argue about whether that virus does or does not cause a disease?