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AIDS Chronology 1981-5

by Sally Smith Hughes

This chronology is an ongoing working draft created to assist the oral history project; its focus is San Francisco and its accuracy contingent upon the many sources from which it was derived. Revised February 1998.

1968-70 David Baltimore and Howard Temin independently discover reverse transcriptase, a marker for retroviruses.

1974 Charles Garfield founds Shanti Project to provide free volunteer counseling to people with life-threatening illnesses.

1976 Robert Gallo isolates T-cell growth factor (interleukin-2), allowing T-cells to be cultured in vitro.

1978 San Francisco Mayor George Moscone assassinated; Dianne Feinstein becomes mayor.

1980 Gallo demonstrates that retroviruses (HTLV-I and HTLV-II) can infect humans.

 

1981:

February Michael Gottlieb, UCLA, diagnoses Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia [PCP] in two homosexuals.

March Gottlieb diagnoses another case of PCP in a homosexual.
Sandra Ford, drug technician for Centers for Disease Control [CDC], officially notes increase in requests for pentamidine, for treatment of PCP.
Constance Wofsy diagnoses CNS toxoplasmosis in gay patient at San Francisco General Hospital [SFGH].

April Gottlieb diagnoses two more cases of PCP in homosexuals.
Two Kaposi's sarcoma [KS] cases in San Francisco and Stanford announced at UCSF dermatology grand rounds.

May/June Donald Abrams and others see cases of PCP in gay men at SFGH.

June 6 CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report [MMWR] publishes Gottlieb and Wayne Sandera's report on PCP in 5 gay men.

June 8 First meeting of CDC Kaposi's Sarcoma/Opportunistic Infection [KSOI] Task Force, headed by James Curran. Purpose to characterize syndrome and determine frequency, risk, and etiology. Surveillance and case file for KS and PCP initiated.

June (late) First case of KS diagnosed in gay man at SFGH.

July City of San Francisco establishes reporting and case registry system for KSOI.

July 3 First press report of syndrome appears in New York Times.
MMWR reports Kaposi's sarcoma in 26 gay men.

July 13 First article on KS in New York Native.

August CDC requires health departments to notify CDC of all KSOI cases.

Aug. 28 MMWR reports first heterosexuals, including first female, with KSOI.

September CDC begins case-control study with 50 gay KSOI patients and 120 "healthy" gay ccontrols to determine factors in homosexual environment possibly causing KSOI.

Sept. 15 CDC and National Cancer Institute sponsor workshop on KS and opportunistic infections. CMV leading candidate for cause.

Sept. 21 First KS Clinic and Study Group held at UCSF.

October Friedman-Kien et al. begin study of clinical course of KS in gay men.

November Shanti begins to focus on psychosocial problems of people with KSOI.

December First clinical descriptions of immunosuppression in IV drug users.
John Ziegler, Conant and Paul Volberding receive $50,000 from American Cancer Society to support KS Clinic at UCSF; first grant awarded for AIDS.
CDC investigators suspect that causal agent of AIDS is infectious but cannot provide irrefutable evidence. Others support "lifestyle" hypothesis.
Reagan proposes massive cuts in CDC budget.



Dec. 09 Marcus Conant passes out flyers on KS at American Academy of Dermatology meeting in San Francisco.

Dec. 10 Durack at Duke suggests amyl nitrites ("poppers") might cause immune dysfunction.
New England Journal of Medicine article links immune deficiency to T4 helper cell/T8 suppressor cell ratio.

 

1982:

Early 1982 Syndrome is named gay-related immunodeficiency disease--GRID.

January First case of immune deficiency linked to blood products is reported in a hemophiliac.
Helen Schietinger becomes nurse-coordinator of KS Clinic at UCSF.
San Francisco health department makes first request for tax funds to support AIDS prevention and community services; Board of Supervisors appropriates $180,000 for AIDS programs.

April Congressional subcommittee hearing in Los Angeles on AIDS, Henry Waxman (D-CA), chairman.

May (Mother's Day) Conant, Frank Jacobson, and Richard Keller write articles of incorporation for Kaposi's Sarcoma Research and Education Foundation, predecessor of San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

May 15 Friedman-Kien et al. publish study showing promiscuity greatest risk factor for KS. Authors support immune overload theory of AIDS causation.

June 18 CDC reports cluster of PCP and KS cases in LA and Orange County, suggesting infectious agent is cause of AIDS.

June 26 UCSF Nursing Services sponsors conference, Kaposi's Sarcoma and Pneumocystis Pneumonia: New Phenomena among Gay Men.

July CDC, FDA, and National Hemophilia Foundation representatives meet to plan risk evaluation of blood products for hemophiliacs.

July 9 CDC publishes first report of 31 cases of opportunisitic infections in Haitians.

July 13 First international symposium on AIDS, at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, sponsored by Mt. Sinai and New York University schools of medicine.

July 16 MMWR reports first three cases of PCP in hemophiliacs, representing first cases of KSOI caused by blood or blood products.

July 21 KS Foundation operates hotline for advice and referrals regarding AIDS, KS, and opportunistic infections [OIs].

July 27 CDC adopts "acquired immune deficiency syndrome--AIDS" as the official name of the new disease.

Aug. 13 National Cancer Institute [NCI] issues RFA for research on AIDS.

Sept. 24 CDC publishes first official definition of AIDS: a disease due to defect in cell-mediated immunity occurring in people with no known cause for immune deficiency.
First? published use of term "AIDS", in MMWR. Rapid adoption of term thereafter.

October KS Research and Education Foundation contracts with San Francisco Department of Public Health [SFDPH] to provide AIDS education services in San Francisco.

Oct. 29 UCSF Departments of Medicine and Dermatology and Cancer Research Institute sponsor program in medical education, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and Kaposi's Sarcoma. Almost 200 physicians and scientists attend.

November MMWR suggests that hospital staffs caring for AIDS patients use hepatitis B precautionary measures.

December Shanti makes first in series of contracts with SFDPH to provide counseling services and a housing program for people with AIDS [PWAs].

Dec. 1 House of Representatives votes $2.6 million to CDC for AIDS research.

Dec. 4 CDC presents Blood Products Advisory Committee with evidence of AIDS transmission through blood supply; no official action taken.

Dec. 10 Ammann, Cowan, Wara et al. report first case of possible transfusion AIDS, in MMWR.

Dec. 17 MMWR reports four cases of unexplained immune deficiency in infants.

Late 1982 Most investigators convinced that AIDS is caused by an infectious agent.
Nation's first AIDS specimen bank established in UCSF School of Dentistry, coordinated by KS Clinic.

 

1983:

Early New York City health department establishes formal AIDS surveillance program.
Beginning of bathhouse crisis. Formal AIDS infection control guidelines instituted at San Francisco General Hospital.

January Montagnier, Barré-Sinoussi, and Chermann at Pasteur Institute, seeking to isolate an AIDS virus, begin to grow cells from lymphadenopathy patient.
President of New York Blood Center denies evidence of transfusion AIDS.
Orphan Drug Act becomes law, giving exclusive marketing rights, tax breaks, and other incentives to companies developing drugs for rare diseases.

Jan. 1 First outpatient clinic dedicated to AIDS (Ward 86) opens, at San Francisco General Hospital.

Jan. 4 CDC national conference to determine blood bank policy re blood screening for AIDS; no consensus.

Jan. 7 CDC adds heterosexual partners of AIDS patients as fifth risk group for AIDS.
Montagnier et al. find traces of reverse transcriptase in lymphadenopathy cell cultures.
San Francisco's Irwin Memorial Blood Bank [IMBB] adds medical history questions designed to screen out donors from high-risk groups.

Jan. 14 National Hemophilia Foundation asks blood and plasma collectors to screen out high-risk donors.

Jan. 19 Irwin Memorial Blood Bank adds more questions about medical history of potential donors.

February At Cold Spring Harbor Workshop on AIDS, Robert Gallo suggests that a retrovirus probably causes AIDS and presumes a variant of HTLV-I or HTLV-II.

Feb. 3 Physicians from UCSF KS Study Group urge IMBB to use hepatitis B core antibody test to screen out blood donors with AIDS.

Feb. 7 IMBB launches confidential questionnaire designed to detect potential blood donors with AIDS. Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights urges potential donors to refrain from donating if they have AIDS symptoms.

March CDC establishes clinical definition of AIDS in attempt to standardize epidemiological surveillance.
UCSF Task Force on AIDS created, mainly to establish infection control policy.
California requires reporting of AIDS cases, but not AIDS -Related Complex [ARC].
Public Health Service [PHS] recommends members of high risk groups reduce number of sex partners.
Mervyn Silverman, SFDH director, forms Medical Advisory Committee on AIDS.

Mar. 4 MMWR first refers to "high risk" groups: gays with multiple sex partners, IVDUs, Haitians, and hemophiliacs.
CDC states that "available data suggests that AIDS is caused by a transmissible agent."

Mar. 17-9 New York University sponsors AIDS symposium.

Mar. 24 FDA issues blood donor screening guidelines.

April Congressman Phillip Burton dies; Sala Burton eventually elected to his seat.
City of San Francisco and Shanti open hospice-type care center for neediest AIDS patients.
Conant, Volberding, John Greenspan, Frank Jacobson, and others persuade Willie Brown to ask for $2.9 million in state funding for AIDS research.

April 11 Date NCI officials later cite as when NCI became committed to finding AIDS etiology.

April 14 Irwin Memorial Blood Bank [IMBB] adds donor sheet designed to screen out donors at high risk for AIDS.

April 26 Recall of San Francisco Mayor Feinstein, supported by White Panthers and some gay groups, fails.

May NIH announce $2.5 million for AIDS research. NCI and NIAID issue RFA [Request For Applications] for research on an infectious agent.
Heat treatment to reduce infectious agents in transfused blood approved by FDA.
San Francisco health department issues first brochure on AIDS.
Feinstein declares first week in May AIDS Awareness Week.

May 02 "Fighting for our Lives" candlelight march in San Francisco to bring attention to AIDS; similar march in NYC.

May 06 JAMA press release: "Evidence suggests household contact may transmit AIDS."

May 12 UCSF announces receipt of $1.2 million for AIDS research; Paul Volberding, principal investigator

May 20 Montagnier publishes discovery of "T-cell lymphotrophic retrovirus," later called lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV).

May 23 San Francisco Board of Supervisors votes $2.1 million for AIDS programs, $1 million of which is for out- and inpatient wards at SFGH.

May 24 Edward Brandt, Assistant Secretary of Health, declares AIDS research #1 priority.

May 31 Health department director Mervyn Silverman, backed by Feinstein and San Francisco Board of Supervisors, requires city bathhouses to post public health warnings about contracting AIDS.

June UC issues guidelines to protect AIDS patients and health workers.
San Francisco Men's Health Study begins to recruit participants.
Feinstein chairs first U.S. Conference of Mayors Task Force on AIDS.

July California legislature approves $2.9 million for AIDS research.
Donald Abrams begins work at SFGH AIDS Clinic, bringing 200+ lymphadenopathy patients from UCSF.

July 26 12-bed inpatient Special Care Unit (Ward 5B) opens at SFGH--first dedicated AIDS hospital unit in U.S.

July 28 Universitywide Task Force on AIDS created to advise UC president on guidelines for and coordination of state-supported AIDS research at UC.
August Willie Brown, Rudi Schmid, Conant and other AIDS researchers criticize UC for delays in releasing state funds for AIDS research.

September At Cold Spring Harbor NCI meeting on human T-cell leukemia retroviruses, Montagnier et al. report LAV-like viruses in 5 lymphadenopathy patients and 3 AIDS patients, selective affinity of LAV for CD4 helper lymphocytes, and evidence of similarities between LAV and lentivirus causing equine infectious anemia. Gallo presents findings of HTLV-I in 10% of AIDS patients; doubts LAV is retrovirus.
UC states that there is no scientific reason for healthy medical personnel to be excused from caring for AIDS patients.
Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, SFDPH, begins active surveillance of AIDS cases in San Francisco.

Sept. 13 Montagnier sends Gallo sample of lymphadenopathy-associated virus [LAV].

Sept. 21 UCSF Task Force on AIDS publishes infection control guidelines for health care workers caring for AIDS patients.

November KS Research and Education Foundation contracts with State of California Department of Health Services to provide information and referral services on AIDS to other counties.
Mika Popovic in Gallo's lab discovers method for growing AIDS virus in T-cells.
San Francisco Department of Public Health asks for legal option to make baths off-limits to PWAs. Lawyers decide that medical uncertainties about AIDS prevent such action.
Jay Levy obtains six viral isolates from AIDS patients but decides not to publish until further proof.

December Pasteur Institute applies for U.S. patent on diagnostic kit based on ELISA test for LAV antibodies.
Feinstein votes against live-in lover legislation, angering gay community.
AIDS Clinical Research Centers established with state funding at UCSF and UCLA to collect clinical and lab. data.
National Association of People with AIDS formed.
Entry "AIDS" added to Cumulated Index Medicus.
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists passes resolution making AIDS a reportable condition.
Hospice of San Francisco contracts with SFDPH to include AIDS patients in its care of terminally ill.

 

1984:

January Annals of Internal Medicine reports case of heterosexual transmission of AIDS before overt manifestation of disease (hemophiliac to wife). American Red Cross, American Association of Blood Banks, and Council of Community Blood Centers oppose proposal to screen out high-risk groups from blood donor pool.

Jan. 6 CDC updates its definition of AIDS.

Jan. 12 NEJM publishes CDC documentation of first 18 transfusion-associated AIDS cases.

February Chermann in talks in U.S. states that French have discovered AIDS virus.

March President of New York Blood Center continues to deny HIV transmission by blood.
Larry Littlejohn, gay activist, sponsors San Francisco ballot initiative to close baths.

Mar. 2-4 19th Annual SF Cancer Symposium, "Cancer and AIDS". Conant, Abrams, Wofsy, Ziegler, Volberding speak.

March 26 Government allots $1.1 million to develop AIDS antibody test to seven institutions, including Irwin Memorial and Stanford blood banks.

April Feinstein issues first formal statement that Silverman should close baths. Silverman responds that he will formulate guidelines banning sex activity in baths that spreads AIDS.
NIH applies for patents on Gallo's AIDS antibody test, a diagnostic kit based on Western blot technique.

April 9 Silverman and state and San Francisco health officials outlaw sex in bathhouses, rather than close them.

April 24 Margaret Heckler, Secretary of Health and Human Services, announces discovery by Gallo et al. of AIDS virus, that an AIDS test will be available soon, and that a vaccine will be available in 18-24 months. Gallo had not yet published his results.

May Gallo publishes four reports and Montagnier one, in Science, linking AIDS with a new retrovirus which Gallo calls HTLV-III and Montagnier calls LAV.
Board of Supervisor's president Wendy Nelder chides Silverstein for "shameful" delays in proposing sex guidelines for baths. Silverman replies that he is waiting for board to transfer authority to regulate baths from police to health department.
Rock Hudson diagnosed with AIDS.

May 1 IMBB and other Bay Area blood banks begin testing blood for hepatitis B core antigen.

Summer Silverman orders bathhouse surveillance for unsafe sex.

June Board of Supervisors committee delays action on giving health department authority to regulate baths until after Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.
IMBB adopts directed blood donation program.

July Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

August After gay lobbying, Board of Supervisors tables move to give Silverman regulatory power over baths, killing his idea to promulgate sex guidelines for baths.
Levy et al. isolate virus, ARV, which they claim to cause AIDS.

September Chiron Corp. announces cloning and sequencing of ARV genome.
Giovanni Battista Rossi in Italy isolates AIDS virus.

October Feinstein forms Mayors Advisory Committee on AIDS.
FDA approves Lyphomed's injectable pentamidine for PCP and gives it orphan drug status.
Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, SFDPH, begins surveillance of average monthly AIDS bed census.

Oct. 9 Silverman closes baths and private sex clubs as "menace" to public health. Baths reopen hours later.

November Gallo et al. clone HTLV-III.

Nov. 28 San Franciso Superior Court Judge Roy Wonder rules baths can remain open if monitored for safe sex practices every 10 minutes.

December Montagnier et al. report cloning of LAV; they also report CD4 molecule as LAV receptor.
Silverman resigns as director of SFDPH.
90 reported cases of transfusion AIDS; 49 reported cases of Factor VIII hemophilia cases.
CDC recommends use of heat-treated blood products for hemophiliacs; other specialists differ. Heat-treated blood products become commercially available.
National Kaposi's Sarcoma Reasearch and Foundation renamed San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Dec. 26 Simon Wain-Hobson, Pierre Sonigo, Olivier Danos, Stewart Cole, and Marc Alizon at Pasteur Institute publish LAV nucleic acid sequence in Cell.

 

1985:

January Gallo et al. publish full nucleic acid sequence of HTLV-III.

Jan. 14 Irwin Memorial Blood Bank prohibits males having more than one male sex partner to donate blood.

February FDA approves Gallo's AIDS diagnostic kit based on Western blot technique.

Feb. 1 Paul Luciw, Jay Levy, Ray Sanchez-Pescador et al. at Chiron publish ARV nucleic acid sequence.

Feb. 7 Dan Capon, M.A. Muesing et al. at Genentech publish ARV nucleic acid sequence.

March San Francisco County Community Consortium founded for community-based AIDS drug testing.

March 2 FDA approves Abbott Laboratory's commercial test for AIDS. Red Cross contracts with Abbott, one of five companies supplying test, and in days phases in test. Britain and France delay testing six months to introduce their own antibody tests.

March 3 IMBB introduces genetically engineered hepatitis B antibody core test.

March 4 First International Conference on AIDS, Atlanta

March 6 IMBB institutes anti-AIDS virus antibody test, the first blood bank in U.S. to do so.

March 14 San Francisco Chronicle reports army study showing AIDS transmission through heterosexual contact.

Spring California legislature and Gov. Deukmejian approve bill banning HIV antibody testing without subject's written informed consent, except at test sites where testing is anonymous. Bill also bars employer and insurance company discrimination on basis of AIDS status. $5 million appropriated to establish HIV community test sites. Disclosure of test results to third party must be improved in writing by test taker.

April CDC drops Haitians from high risk groups for AIDS.

May US Patent Office awards patent on Gallo's antibody test.

Summer AIDS diagnostic kits using ELISA become commercially available. California law mandates every county to offer AIDS test at public health centers; guidelines for preserving confidentiality.

June American Association of Blood Banks, American Red Cross, Council of Community Blood Centers agree not to begin "look back" program to identify people who have received AIDS-infected blood.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID] creates first AIDS Treatment Evaluation Units, predecessor to AIDS Clinical Trial Groups (ACTGs).
California public health clinics begin testing for AIDS.

June 24 IMBB adds bar codes for confidential exclusion of blood units.

September Mathilde Krim and Michael Gottlieb found American Foundation for AIDS Research [AmFAR], merging AIDS Medical Foundation of New York and National AIDS Research Foundation of Los Angeles.
Martin Delaney and others found Project Inform.

October Public's awareness of AIDS rises with Rock Hudson's death.
Congress allots $70 million to AIDS research day after Hudson's death.

December Pasteur Institute sues for share of royalties on AIDS antibody test.
CDC first considers vertical transmission of AIDS virus; advises infected women to "consider" delaying pregnancy until more known about perinatal transmission.
CDC contracts with San Francisco AIDS Foundation to develop materials for anonymous AIDS testing sites.
Late in year Department of Defense announces that new recruits will be screened for AIDS and rejected if positive.
Third UC AIDS Clinical Research Center founded at UCSD. Goals of three centers broaden to include rapid evaluation of new therapeutic agents.
13-year-old Ryan White, a hemophiliac with AIDS, is barred from school in Indiana.
CDC expands surveillance definition, in light of HIV antibody test.

The AIDS Hoax: "WE HAD TO DISCREDIT PETER DUESBERG"

Posted By: Jon Rappoport

Date: Monday, 3-Mar-2003 15:03:35

Friday, February 21, 2003

"WE HAD TO DISCREDIT PETER DUESBERG"

FEBRUARY 21.

Part three of the AIDS hoax: the secret campaign to maintain HIV as the cause of AIDS.

In the spring of 1987, propaganda consultant Ellis Medavoy became aware that his objectives were being threatened by a University of Berkeley virologist named Peter Duesberg. Duesberg had just published a long paper in the journal Cancer Research. That paper made a case against HIV as the cause of AIDS. Duesberg was far from being a nobody. He was a star in his field. He had grant monies to do research. He had a lab at Berkeley and graduate students lining up to be part of his team. Duesberg was, in addition, a recognized expert in the emerging field of retrovriruses.

He was, in his own way, the equal, in terms of prestige, of Robert Gallo. In fact, Duesberg had worked with Gallo and Montagnier and others in the doomed Viral Cancer Project, an effort to show that cancers were caused by retroviruses.

Duesberg had bailed out of that project. "I could see that we weren’t getting anywhere," he told me. "These viruses were interesting, but I discovered that they weren’t very important as far as cancer research was concerned. But Gallo and others stayed on. They had their reasons. I was glad to leave. Disappointed, to a degree, but satisfied. I had seen what there was to see.”

Medavoy told me, "Duesberg was a wild card. We knew we could come across one, and he was it. He saw through the propaganda we were spreading in the guise of science. He attacked HIV from a researcher's point of view and he said all the right things. That is, he didn't know there was an intense propaganda campaign coordinated at high levels to 'protect' HIV as the cause of AIDS. But he knew the science. He knew the difference between real research and badly done or fake research. And HIV was, make no mistake about it, a fake from day one.”

In his Cancer Research paper, Duesberg had said several things. Among the most important was, HIV was, at best, infecting only a tiny percentage of (immune-system) T-cells. This made no sense. If HIV was killing immune systems, it had to be doing much more than that. Duesberg also began to comment on the wild contradiction implicit in HIV testing. He noticed that the blood test was looking for antibodies which had formed as part of the body’s defense against HIV. The presence of such antibodies was taken as a sign that a person was going to develop full-blown AIDS and die. But, on the other hand, a vaccine against AIDS would produce the exact same antibodies, in which case people would be said to be immune from AIDS.

Medavoy told me, "Duesberg got that one right too. He saw that the HIV test was completely insane. He was telling the research community they had been roped in by a bunch of fakers---and so we had to do some heavy damage control.”

Duesberg was not the only problem. At Berkeley, a few other people were waking up. Harry Rubin, one of the grand old men of virology, was willing to go public and say he thought HIV research needed a "second opinion." Richard Strohman, a cell biologist at the school, was also dissatisfied with the glib crowning of Gallo as the discoverer of the cause of AIDS. And then, there was a maverick professor of law at Berkeley, Phillip Johnson, who was more than willing to join in the fray. He not only agreed with Duesberg, he was able to organize the arguments against HIV in a more structured way than Duesberg, in speaking forums, usually bothered to. (Eventually, this burgeoning little group would expand to include more than 300 scientists and journalists who signed on to a short letter asserting that HIV science was deficient and needed a complete review by impartial people. One signer was Kary Mullis, a Nobel laureate who had discovered the PCR test for DNA. Mullis was like the grim reaper when it came to HIV. He was willing to take on anyone anywhere.) But in 1987, it was mainly Duesberg who was carrying the banner against false science.

Duesberg's principal ally at the time was Harvey Bialy, the research editor of Bio/Technology, a sister publication of Nature, the revered medical journal. Bialy was completely disgusted with the rush to judgment that had accompanied Gallo's unsubstantiated claims for HIV as the cause of AIDS. Bialy was definitely not a man to tangle with in print. He was quite willing to do the one thing most career-minded researchers were loathe to engage in. Bialy would read a key paper on the subject of HIV all the way through and in detail, and then blast the arguments to smithereens. Point by point. Like Duesberg, he read the fine print and the methods sections, and he was brutal in his criticism. Bialy saw that, in a field (virology) that once rippled with extensive debate, AIDS was taking over as mush-science. Press-conference science. Bubble-head science. Science on behalf of gaining money grants to spout the favored line.

In 1987, Ellis Medavoy, whose job it was to protect HIV against all detractors, told me he was getting fed up with his own profession. He wanted out. He was ready to end his long career as one of the bad guys---mostly because he saw where things were headed---into a vast depopulation effort that would take decades and decades. This was a bit more than he had bargained for. Medavoy was somewhat unstable, you could say. Depending on what day you talked with him, he could be ready to throw in the towel---or he might display a completely arrogant attitude toward the rest of the human race. At any rate, before he did actually drop out and quit, he began to tell me about what he was doing---and in some cases, how he was doing it.

Ellis Medavoy and his colleagues had, besides Peter Duesberg, another problem on their hands. Through the efforts of certain "subversive reporters" --- and guess who was in that crowd? --- connections were being forged with the alternative health community. Some of these activists had never been much for blaming human disease on germs, and the revelations about fake HIV science were quite exciting to them.

Furthermore, there were people who had been diagnosed as HIV positive or "full-blown AIDS" who were surviving quite well because they were taking care of their health. They were rejecting the whole HIV premise and they were exercising and changing their diets and not taking any more drugs and taking nutrients and so on. And staying away from AZT.

These people were living testimonials to a sensational kind of healing---and if THAT got out far and wide, the whole sordid game could be blown off its hinges.

Medavoy said, "A lot of what we did at this point was stop things from getting into print. That's often more important than planting lies. As far as Duesberg was concerned, I can tell you there were many newspapers and magazines who were ready to give his views some space.

You know, maverick scientist rejects HIV as cause of AIDS. So we began a coordinated effort to keep that from happening. We let the scientists at NIH [National Institutes of Health], who had the most to lose if Duesberg could establish a credible beachhead, handle the PR on rejecting Duesberg's science. They engaged in some character assassination as well, which was fine. We, on the other side, got 'reliable sources' to go to those newspapers and magazines and tell them that to print anything good about Duesberg was DANGEROUS and IRRESPONSIBLE. That was our tack. We had our people say that thousands of people could die if they stopped believing that HIV was the cause of AIDS. Promiscuous sex would become more rampant than ever, people would get infected, get sick, and spread the virus even further. We hammered on all this, and we cowed most of those media outlets. It worked, for the most part.”

"As far as the very embarrassing and growing list of AIDS survivors was concerned---the people who had rejected the idea of HIV and were rebuilding their health successfully without medical drugs---we tried to keep track of pending stories on these people, and we went to those media outlets and told them these people were 'vegetarian kooks' and 'anecdotal examples who had not been studied by real scientists' and 'publicity seekers' and so on. We said some of them had never really been HIV positive to begin with. It was like shooting pigeons. We did pretty well. Some stories did appear on these survivors, but the general tone was, 'so and so is a strange curiosity and scientists are studying why he has managed to live for so long without getting sick, and this may hold promise for future research.' You know all that crap.”

Here is another choice quote from Medavoy on the AIDS scam. He told me this in 1996:"Some other operatives I was aware of played a role in getting mainstream researchers to lobby for, and win, a new standard for HIV illness, based purely on numbers of T-cells. [Note: this 'innovation' came later, long after 1987.] Tests would determine if a person was 'getting sick,' or if he was 'getting better' after taking his AZT---all measured by how many T-cells [part of the immune system defense] showed up on the tests. These operatives knew, and had been briefed on this, that T-cells could actually vary all over the place, up and down, depending on factors like the time of day a person was given the test. It was another area of shoddy science, and they took advantage of it. I'll give you an example. You've got some guy who has been told he's HIV positive, and so, even though he’s not sick at all, he gets tested every few months for numbers of T-cells. Sooner or later, those numbers will go down on a test. If the doctor isn’t really attentive, he’ll tell the patient he is now officially diagnosed with full-blown AIDS, because those numbers are too low. If the patient hasn't been taking AZT yet, he will go for it now.”

By the mid-1990s, Peter Duesberg no longer got grant money from the government. His major lab at Berkeley was gone. Graduate students were told they'd be risking their futures if they associated their names with him.

Years before, Robert Gallo had told me, "The thing about Peter is, he's different. He's very bright, and he goes his own way. Sometimes that way turns out to be... unusual, strange. He can be difficult on purpose, you know. As if he's trying to adopt a position that challenges everybody else. He's a different kind of man.”

Ironic, coming from the tyrannical and arbitrary Gallo, the man who had laid claim to the virus that doesn't cause anything.

JON RAPPOPORT

www.stratiawire.com


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 732


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