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Continuum London, 12 September 1995

The recent widely publicised study in Nature (7/9/1995) which claims to provide conclusive proof that HIV causes AIDS in people with haemophilia, is deeply flawed, because the following points were not taken into account:

1a. The age at which the people with haemophilia received an AIDS diagnosis, because this determines the total amount of Factor VIII they received. Until a few years ago, Factor VIII was only 1% pure, ie. 99% of it consisted of other people's proteins which are self-evidently highly immuno-suppressive to the recipient.(1)

b. The data concerning cause of death is not provided: how many died of AIDS related diseases, how many of haemophilia itself, and how many of natural causes. How many deaths were confirmed by autopsy/necropsy studies?

c. The drug regimens, intended to forestall the onset of AIDS (eg AZT and its analogues, and pentamidine, Septrin), but known to be highly damaging over time, are not adequately described.

2. No explanation is given as to why deaths escalated between 1989-1992. We consider this to be attributable to the use of AZT in asymptomatics, administered in the completely mistaken belief it would slow down or arrest HIV disease progression (cf Concorde study, 1993)

3. Given that nobody in the study should have been infected after 1985 (because of heat-treatment and donor screening), those infected before 1985 should by now all have died, if the 10-year latency for HIV is correct. In fact, only 403 out of 1227 have died. This implies that the latency period of HIV is about 30 years, or that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. Which is it?

4. HIV has never been detected or otherwise demonstrated to be present in the Factor VIII used by haemophiliacs! It has only ever been assumed to be present.(2)

5. In the course of preparing Factor VIII from blood, it is freeze-dried. This procedure effectively destroys any HIV that may have been present in the pooled blood samples from which it is obtained. This, therefore, means that the deaths attributed to HIV would have to have been caused by a destroyed virus, or alternatively, the CDC is completely mistaken.(3) Which is it?

6. Even if viable cell-free HIV could have survived the process of freeze-drying, it has been known since 1989 on no less an authority than the head of the NIH that the virus particles would have spontaneously lost the gp120 spikes, essential for it to attach itself on to the CD4 receptors of the cells which it is thought to infect.(4) This means that the virus could never have been infective.

Far from apologising as called for in an editorial in Nature accompanying the present study, we "the obstinate community of the unconvinced" have every reason to remain so, and consider that the study simply supports the views held by Professor Duesberg (Berkeley), Dr. Papadopulos-Eleopulos (Perth), Dr Harvey Bialy (New York) and others, that HIV is not the cause of AIDS.

On the contrary, we hereby request and require that the scientists involved re-adopt proper scientific principles in this very important field of public health.


1. Duesberg, Genetica (1995), 95, 51.

2. Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al, Genetica (1995), 95: 25

3. CDC Factsheet 1994

4. Varmus (1989) American Society for Microbiology

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