unfortunately, AIDS Rethinkers have recently appeared divided on the
the existence or of the non-existence of HIV, one group claiming that
exists but is a harmless, passenger virus, while the other group
that HIV does not exist. Neither of these two stands is compatible with
available scientific evidence.
a harmless passenger is not consistent with the name HIV that implies a
relationship with immunodeficiency, a most serious pathological
Asserting simply that HIV does not exist is a fragile position that can
account for 1) the fact that typical retrovirus particles illustrated
1983, Barré-Sinoussi et al. Science paper, and 2) the fact that
nucleic acid sequences are routinely amplified by PCR methodologies in
to measure an hypothetical viral load in AIDS patients.
an alternative analysis is urgently needed that is consistent with all
scientifically published evidence. Human endogenous retroviruses
provide such an alternative analysis that can no longer be
stated by myself in Pretoria in 2000, nobody has ever demonstrated by
retroviral particles in the blood of patients tagged as presenting with
viral load. An award, offered to whomever would demonstrate the
never been claimed. However, harmless viruses, when existing, are just
readily visualized by EM as pathogenic ones. The fact that they have
observed in high viral load blood samples is therefore significant.
conclusion, HERVs have interfered with HIV/AIDS research. Facing this
makes it possible to correct several miss-interpretations that stand at
roots of the current HIV/AIDS dogma. Recognizing the role of HERVs in a
coherent analysis of available data shall restore RA’s scientific
consolidate a united front for RA, and provide RA with the strength of
fundamentally redirecting AIDS research, far away from hypothetical
the original thread [interpolated in italics immediately below],
pointed out that de Harven's "alternative" to the opposing views that
• HIV ‘exists’ but is a “harmless passenger virus”
• HIV does not exist
- consists in calling free-floating pieces of DNA a virus.
read that Prof. deHarven stated at the conference that there are two
positions among dissidents:
‘exists’ but is a “harmless passenger virus”
HIV does not exist
of these two propositions represents the Perth Group's position, so I
Harven wasn't referring to them at all. . . ?
Harven goes on to present an "alternative" to the opposing
positions. He theorises that HIV exists as circulating retroviral
(RNA?), but that no retroviral particle has ever been found in AIDS
the "V" in HIV stands for "Virus", it means that De
Harven's alternative consists in calling pieces of DNA a virus.
that logic, I would like to present my own hypothesis that the Pacific
exists on my lawn as morning dew, since both contain molecules of H2O
this is the time to elaborate on the sleight of hand involved.
The fact is that neither the Perth Group nor
Stefan Lanka claims that what PCR
picks up on does not exist, only that the material has not been shown
originate from a virus, exogenous or endogenous.
Neither the Perth Group nor Stefan Lanka have at
any point excluded the idea
that at least some of the genetic material picked up by PCR could be
among the elements in the human genome called "retroviral" by
scientists who were slow to accept that reverse transcriptase activity
occur in the absence of a viral entity.
It is obvious that both PG and Lanka had
considered this possibility early on
and simply chose to use more careful wording than de Harven.
In their 1988 paper Reappraisal of Aids:
Is the Oxidation Induced by
the Risk Factors the Primary Cause?, the Perth Group even uses the
"retrovirus" in this exact context in their comments on a passage
including extensive quotes from the literature:
In rare cases by isolation is meant finding of virus-like particles
T-cells in vitro or cells other than T in fresh AIDS tissue (81,82).
particles are not only hard to detect but at least in some cases may be
organelles not HTLV-III/LAV viruses (...) Although the
arise spontaneously in virus-free cell cultures, the rate of appearance
increased a million fold by the use of radiation chemical mitogens or
of the culture with other viruses*
In their 1993 paper PG have an entire section on problems arising from
so-called retroviral sequences in the human genome. An excerpt:
At present it is generally accepted that "one of the most striking
features that distinguishes retroviruses from all other animal viruses
presence, in the chromosomes of normal uninfected cells, of genomes
related to, or identical with, those of infectious viruses"80. Depending on conditions, the provirus genome remains unexpressed or
all of it may be expressed. The latter may or may not lead to the
viral particles (endogenous retrovirus). 80 In other words, the
of a viral genome (DNA) or even of RNA, antigens and antibodies to
them, is not
proof of the presence of infectious particles. Although most of the
findings are from animal experiments, at present, evidence exists that
"The human genome carries DNA sequences related to endogenous
genomes. . .
The way such "viral genomes" are detected for diagnostic purposes is
via PCR. Thus, included in PG's critique was right from the beginning
distinct possibility that what was found or detected both by PCR
in EMs was so-called endogenous retroviral elements.
How is this different from de Harven's
Discussing his Continuum articles on the
non-isolation/non-existence of HIV
with Steven Harris MD, Stefan Lanka writes anno 1995:
Dr Harris is clearly quite an intelligent man, so his very first
"Strangely enough, Lanka does not explain what we're seeing in all
electron micrographs" has me tearing my hair out, because a few
further down he provides his own answer that "less well-known is the
existence of other particles which look like viruses but aren't and are
nonchalantly referred to as "virus-like" particles. Such particles
are far from rare, found for example, always in placentas, and
frequently in the artificial environment of laboratory cell
cultures. They have served to muddy the waters considerably as far
research isconcerned, because particles just like these have been
And further down:
It is my humble opinion that the sequences are endogenous, and
can prove it. Not only in man, of course, but also in the special cell
that always have to be used to make HIV.
the first case, one can simply remove "like" from
"virus-like" to get de Harven's analysis of the Montagnier photo of a
budding "virus" from placenta-derived lymphocytes. In the second
case, add "retrovirus" after Lanka's repeated use of the word
"endogenous" and once more we have the de Harven Alternative.
If we consult Lanka's Continuum article (second
reply to Duesberg), we are told
plainly why Lanka (and PG) is reluctant to add the word "retrovirus"
when he talks about endogenous sequences:
The human genome carries thousands of such genes
that can be traced back to the action of reverse transcription (3) and
named "retroviral elements" by "retrovirologists" in an ad
hoc decision (2).
de Harven's alternative consists in the following steps:
De Harven pretends that "HIV doesn't exist", as uttered by Lanka,
means that where the label HIV is applied there is literally
He then makes hay of his implicit strawman by pointing out that
wrong; that there is indeed "something" there, namely DNA (RNA), and
that this DNA/RNA could be from an endogenous retroviral element.
However, since no retroviral particles can be isolated from AIDS
Harven presents us with an EM from Montagnier of a retroviral-like
pronounces ex cathedra, to borrow a favourite Lanka expression, that
most definitely a budding retroviral particle, only it comes from
placenta-derived lymphocytes rather than an AIDS patient.
de Harven now has, on highest authority, both some DNA and a
particle, vaguely associated with HIV because Montagnier claimed it was
picture of HIV, he can glue them together in true HIV scientific manner
claim that the DNA/RNA picked up by HIV PCR not only represents an
retroviral element, but is in fact a bona fide retrovirus.
a parody on HIV science the de Harven Alternative is quite effective.
alternative to the Perth Group and Stefan Lanka's analyses, it has not
proven to exist.
*PG's 1988 paper also contains formulations such as this -
Since this is the case, even assuming that HTLV-III/LAV
vivo. . .
-- making it very clear for anybody with eyes to see that the isolation
problems and existence of HIV were inextricably linked in PG's analyses
very early on.