Did Humans Create HIV?

On 5th June 1981, the US

Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a report about five previously healthy young men, who had suddenly fallen ill with compromised immune systems Within a year the mysterious disease claimed the lives of over 1,000 people It also gained a name: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS, which develops from an infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV Four decades later, HIV AIDS has spread to every continent on Earth Nearly 37 million people live with the virus – a third of them do not realise it

In 1999, a British journalist alleged this deadly epidemic was the result of experiments carried out to eradicate a similar plague If true, the deaths of 35 million people could be traced to a single laboratory Did humans create HIV? HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids including semen, blood and breast milk and affects the immune system, leaving the body defenceless against other infections and cancer The average lifespan of a victim is a decade The scientific consensus is that Human Immunodeficiency Virus evolved from Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, or SIV

Viruses can be fought with vaccines These work by introducing a weakened form of a virus into the body, allowing the patient to produce antibodies which can destroy the stronger virus if they ever get infected There is no known vaccine or inoculation against HIV However, according to journalist Edward Hooper, it’s a vaccine that caused HIV in the first place Hooper traces HIV back to the Polio epidemics that swept across the U

SA after World War Two America’s top scientists raced to develop a safe, practical Polio vaccine Among them was Dr

Hilary Koprowski In 1950 Koprowski became the first person to develop a successful Polio vaccine However, his methods were controversial, especially his experiments on disabled children In 1956, Koprowski moved to the Belgian Congo in search of test subjects He established two facilities: a laboratory at Stanleyville and a camp further north called Lindi

The manufacture of Polio vaccine requires monkey kidneys, in which the virus is grown Normally macaque kidneys are used Edward Hooper alleges that in the Congo, Koprowski used chimpanzee kidneys – from chimpanzees infected with SIV Koprowski then distributed batches of Polio vaccine tainted by concentrated SIV, and administered them to unsuspecting test subjects Once in a human host, the virus mutated, creating the first cases of HIV

The first known case of HIV is a blood sample taken from a man in 1959 living in Kinshasha, the former capital of the Belgian Congo To Edward Hooper, it is no coincidence that the areas in which Koprowski tested his Polio vaccine correlate with areas where HIV first developed Dr Koprowski denied that he ever used chimpanzees in the development of his vaccine However archive footage and eyewitness testimony from former workers at Camp Lindi contradict this statement

Additionally, former virology technicians Jacques Kanyama and Philip Elebe, both based at Stanleyville, claim they produced tissue cultures using chimps from Lindi Yet this evidence has been refuted by many of those involved in the vaccine trials in the Congo, including Dr Koprowski Stanley Plotkin, himself a pioneer in the vaccine for Rubella, attested that he was at Stanleyville from August 1957 to June 1961, and “never saw or heard of chimpanzee cells” Koprowski maintained that the work carried out at Stanleyville had nothing to do with the manufacture of the vaccine, merely the testing of it

At the Wistar Institute in the US, where Koprowski says the vaccine was made, chief technician Barbara Cohen stated categorically that “At no time did I ever receive or work on chimpanzee kidneys… Nor know of anyone… who made polio vaccine in chimpanzee cells” Nevertheless, chimpanzees were used in Koprowski’s experiments – just not to grow the vaccine A paper by Belgian scientist and eyewitness Ghislain Courtois states the chimps were test subjects, used to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine

Meanwhile, the evidence provided by eyewitnesses Jacques Kanyama and Philip Elebe has been called into question Former camp doctor Paul Osterrieth claims he has has no memory of Elebe He does recall Kanyama, but says he was a low level employee with “no scientific background… and did not work on cell culture” According to the accepted theory, SIV transferred from chimpanzees to human hunters in the 1920s As it evolved into the stronger HIV, it reached the Congolese capital, where it spread amongst the densely packed citizens like wildfire, aided by high levels of prostitution and existing sexually transmitted diseases Yet recent genetic mapping shows HIV’s roots actually lie further north It stems from two chimp colonies in Cameroon both infected with SIV, not from chimp colonies in the Congo

Hooper maintains that the scientific community has whitewashed the affair, and blindly accepted the testimonies of those responsible for creating HIV However, scientific evidence, as well as witness testimony, contradicts his claims Unfortunately, the impact of this debate has gone far beyond who shoulders the blame for HIV Rightly or wrongly, it has seriously undermined faith in the medical establishment and has contributed to the rise of the anti-vaccination movement Perhaps, for some, it is more comforting to have someone to blame than to accept that one of the deadliest diseases known to man was an accident of nature

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