re: HIV=/=AIDS Video

Pat Fallon (
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 23:06:20 -0500

I'd like to thank Davin C. Enigl <> for the obvious time
he took in writing his last post on this subject. I apologize for the delay
in replying, I had to look up a few things.

I have contended that our government announced that the virus later
re-named HIV was the probable cause of AIDS in advance of the
publication by Gallo of his evidence. The press conference announcement
was on April 23, 1984, Gallo published in Science over a week later.

You said I was conveniently forgetting about an article Gallo published in
Science in 1983.

I pointed out that in 1983 Gallo was arguing that HTLV-I caused AIDS,
and that HTLV-I, not the virus later named HIV, was the focus of
Gallo's 1983 article.

You countered that Gallo was careful not to emphasize the HTLV
sub group 1 over any of the other HTLV family in the quotes
I cited from the article:

>Davin C. Enigl <>
>He says HTLV-like virus and does NOT say HTLV-I

I thought I remembered Gallo singling out HTLV-1, and returned to the
library [this time commandeering a microfilm reader that had a printer!].
Gallo did emphasize the HTLV sub group 1 over the other retroviruses
of this family in his 1983 paper:

"Virus from the U.S. patient was isolated and characterized and shown
to be related to HTLV subgroup 1. Whether or not HTLV-1 or other
retroviruses of this family with T-cell tropism cause AIDS, it is possible
that patients from whom the virus can be isolated can also transmit it
to others."

"...the slopes of the competition curves in homologous RI-PA's for p24
in cell extracts from both cell lines were very similar to those for p24 from
isolates of the HTLV-1 subgroup, indicating that the isolate from patient EP
is closely related to the HTLV-1 subgroup. By this assay the new isolate
appears to be less closely related to the HTLV-II subgroup. Analysis of the
nucleic acids of the HTLV isolated from EP also indicated its similarity to
viruses of the HTLV-1 subgroup."

[all above quotes from Gallo, R.C., P.S. Sarin, E.P.Gelmann, M. Robert-
Guroff, and E. Richardson. Isolation of human T-cell leukemia virus in
(AIDS). Science 220 (1983): 865-867.].

Gallo himself acknowledged in his November 1986 sworn declaration
before the USPTO, that in the Spring of 1983:

"...our thinking at the time was that the AIDS virus was likely to be a close
relative of HTLV-1" [Declaration of Robert C. Gallo, 11/8/86, p.10].

The virus that the Institute Pasteur (IP) isolated, which Gallo later either
misappropriated or contaminated his own samples with, first called "LAV"
[for lymphadenopathy-associated virus] appeared to be distinctly different
from the known human retroviruses, HTLV-1 and II. As the Staff Report
on Oversight and Investigations Committee on Energy and Commerce of
the US House of Representatives reported:

>"During the first critical months of research on HIV, the work of the
>Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology [LTCB] scientists was far behind that of
>the scientists at the Institut Pasteur [IP]. The reason the LTCB scientists
>lagged behind was a misplaced focus on the "HTLV" family as the probable
>source of the cause of AIDS. Not only did this incorrect focus misdirect the
>work of the LTCB scientists, for a time it misdirected the work of much of
>the scientific community, due to Dr. Gallo's preeminent position vis-a-vis
>human retrovirus research.

>In early 1983, scientists at both the IP (Montagnier et al.) and LTCB
>(Gallo et al.), searching for the cause of AIDS, attempted to isolate a
>retrovirus...from AIDS patients....Dr. Gallo's early theorizing about the
>AIDS virus mistakenly placed that virus in the "HTLV" family (see, e.g.,
>Medical World News, August 14, 1982, p9).

>By Dr. Gallo's own admission (see below), his misunderstanding of the
>fundamental nature of the AIDS virus associated with the mistaken belief
>that HIV was an "HTLV" resulted in significant confusion and delay in the
>work of the LTCB scientists. Even for years after HIV had been discovered
>and its true defining features identified, Dr. Gallo fought a losing battle to
>keep the AIDS virus in the "HTLV" family by retaining the name "HTLV-III"
>rather than HIV.

>The IP scientists recognized early on that their virus, first called "LAV"
>...appeared to be distinctly different from the known human retroviruses,
>HTLV-I and II.

>Meanwhile, throughout all of 1983, the only contribution the LTCB scientists
>made to the scientific literature and dialogue concerning possible causes of
>AIDS was to reiterate that "HTLV" was "...a very attractive candidate"
>(Gallo remarks at 7/18/83 meeting of the NCI AIDS Task Force)."

[This draft Staff Report of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation
of the Energy and Commerce is now available at]

As Celia Farber wrote in an article in the June 1992 issue of Spin titled
"Fatal Distraction":

>"By 1983, he [Gallo] was publishing papers trying to convince his peers
>that it [HTLV-I] also caused AIDS..."The whole thing about HTLV-I
>and AIDS was ridiculous, but nobody would say a word against
>Bob Gallo," recalls Dr. Sonnabend [a pioneering AIDS researcher and
founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AMFAR)]

I still maintain that a fair reading of the evidence indicates that in 1983,
Gallo was advocating HTLV-I, or a close relative [not LAV,
later renamed HTLV-III by Gallo] as the etiological agent in AIDS.

Some other points:

>Davin C. Enigl <>
>Because 33 AIDS patients were positive for retrovirus (HTLV-like)
>this was very strong evidence an HTLV class virus is involved.

Gallo reported "...the viral genome of HTLV was found to be integrated into
peripheral blood lymphocyte DNA in 2 of 33 AIDS patients tested thus far..."
He didn't say all 33.

>>"Since HTLV is endemic in southern Japan, the apparent lack of epidemic
>>AIDS in this region may argue against a causative role for HTLV in AIDS.
>>However...people in southern Japan may have a greater resistance to
>>the T-cell suppressive effect of the virus."

>Davin C. Enigl <>
>So, they argue _against_ even the whole class of HTLV viruses as the cause of
>AIDS. That does not support your premise that they were arguing only for the
>HTLV class of what we now know as several viruses with similar genome.

I would point out that here Gallo is not cautioning us that HTLV may have
no role, as much as he is anticipating an obvious objection to the etiological
role of HTLV [HTLV is endemic in southern Japan, but AIDS is not epidemic
there], and arguing that HTLV STILL might be the cause ["however ...people
in southern Japan may have a greater resistance to the T-cell suppressive
effect of the virus."] Note the use of the word however.

Pat Fallon <>