Archive for August, 2007|Monthly archive page

A Letter To Robert Gallo

To:
Robert C. Gallo, MD                                                               August 13, 2007
Director and Professor
Institute of Human Virology
University of Maryland
School of Medicine
725 W. Lombard Street
Suite S307

Dear Bob,

I received all of your material, and read all of it this weekend. I am reading the book you sent, “Dissecting a Discovery” currently. I am stunned by all of the wrong info that has proliferated regarding the issues pertaining to your early work, and the work of the French group. I believe that much of this could have been avoided, and that many of the wrong turns that I believe have occurred in the science and medical policies regarding acquired immune deficiency might have been avoided if this information would have been widely available, discussed, openly debated, and absorbed by the scientific community. Instead, because of the 26 or so years of needless controversy and partisanship that has been swirling around the scientific, political, and social aspects of AIDS, fueled by the incorrect portrayals of your actual contributions, and those of Montagnier’s group, there has been much wasted effort, money, lives ruined, and wrong assumptions that should have been dismissed years ago.

I intend to correct all inaccuracies regarding the issues you have raised (and have begun contacting all webmasters today), in order to reflect the truth as it is presented in the many documents you have sent. It is vital, I believe, to tell the whole truth regarding the distortions, the history, the mistaken conclusions I have made that have in part been based on the wrong and inaccurate information you have brought to my attention, and which I have been guilty of passing along without adequately fact checking.

More specifically, I intend to have all of the wrong information corrected, deleted, or modified to reflect the truth as I now understand it, and to also reflect the information you sent to me, which of course paints your work and contributions in a much more interesting, and informative light, and which hopefully might somehow help folks better understand the science and scientific issues.

For instance, I discussed some of these issues last week with an old microbiologist down the hall who absolutely believes and teaches in his courses every aspect of  “HIV” and “AIDS” mainstream thinking (which as you are aware, I take issue with), yet, in the same breath, this microbiologist and many others who teach or write or talk with absolute devotion about “HIV=AIDS” will state to me (and to students) the incorrect and highly damaging view of the history you seek to rectify that conforms essentially to the Crewdson portrayals. I think this is wrong-that the personalities and the perceived violations of those principally involved (Gallo, Papovic, Flossie Wong Staal, Montagnier, Barre-Sinoussi, Duesberg, Mullis, etc.) have and are still being vilified, which only serves to obscure the broader issues regarding potentially important observations, and quest to understand the deeper issues associated with pathogenesis of acquired immune deficiency, and the meaning of the molecular signatures you call “HIV.”

In the spirit of sharing, I have attached a short piece written by Kary Mullis in Genetica some years ago that he had sent me the other day about complex antigen presentation and AIDS that I thought you might find interesting (to better help ask questions regarding your current vaccine effort) [Kary B. Mullis. A hypothetical disease of the immune system that may bear some relation to the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Genetica 95: 195-1995]. I have been discussing with him my reservations regarding the hypothesis that aneuploidy drives cancer, because of our own work, and of course because Barbara McClintock’s and T. Boveri’s descriptions of normal development of both plants (varieagated leaves) and animals (Ascarid diminution) involve aneuploidy, so it can’t be specific to cancer.

I will be in touch by week’s end to confirm everything I have rectified regarding your work, and this letter, and a revised copy of “A brief history of AIDS: The signature and the disease” will appear on this new website.

I am deeply sorry for having been the agent of spreading wrong and damaging information about you and your co-workers. I have learned a valuable lesson regarding (my bad) scholarship here, and because of your openness to me regarding these issues during the past week, I will endeavor to write about these issues very differently, and fairly.

Sincerely,

Andrew Maniotis

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A Brief History of AIDS: The Signatures and The Syndrome

In 1981, on June 5, “Pneumocystis Pneumonia–Los Angeles,” by Dr. Michael Gottlieb and colleagues of University of California at Los Angeles, appeared in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (vol. 30, pp. 250-52), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publication. This was the first article about AIDS in the medical literature. In July of that same year, a Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections was established at the CDC under the direction of Dr. James Curran [1].

GALLO AND MONTAGNIER-HYPOTHESIS NUMBER ONE:
According to Dr. Gallo and Dr. Montagnier, their work together was open and collaborative and established that AIDS or pre-AIDS exhibited a consistent molecular signature [2]. This signature was first called lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV) and Human T-cell-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), and then, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Because of the significance of these initial observations, I include here several paragraphs from a recent NEJM article written jointly by Gallo and Montagnier [2]. I will then review nine other hypotheses regarding the pathogenesis of AIDS, and then review some of the successes that the “HIV=AIDS” hypothesis has achieved: Continue reading