Lessons Sought in the Origin of AIDS

A Writer of a recent book says that AIDS may have jumped from chimps to humans via an experimental polio vaccine yet the scientific community has expressed little interest in the theory.

British writer Edward Hooper, is the author of a new book on AIDS. Hooper is on a campaign to persuade the medical world that the deadly HIV virus may have been unleashed more than 30 years ago by medical doctors giving experimental polio vaccines to African children.

The River by Edward Hooper“The River,” is a 1,100-page examination of the history of AIDS that took Hooper nine years to research and write. Hooper says an oral vaccine given to about a million people in central Africa from 1957 to 1960 was cultured from the cells of primates. Scientists have concluded in recent years that AIDS originated in a primate: the chimpanzee. Hooper believes that cells from infected chimpanzees may have been part of the polio vaccine. The earliest known sample of the human AIDS virus is from 1959–after the polio vaccine had been administered.

Although the book has had favorable reviews, apparently few in the scientific world have shown much interest. “People don’t want to know about this, that it could be a physician-caused catastrophe” says Hooper.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, during the late 1950s, researchers administered an experimental live-virus polio vaccine known as CHAT throughout a region that is now Rwanda, Burundi and Congo — areas that ultimately became a hotbed of AIDS. “Starter” samples of the vaccine are still stored in a locked freezer. Some say the samples should be tested for the presence of simian immunodeficiency virus, which in chimps is similar to HIV in humans.

A researcher involved in the African experiments fears that resurrecting this controversy “will make people afraid of polio vaccines and hurt the global eradication effort”, according to the same article.

“There is no concrete physical evidence, as yet, to prove the theory, even if the anecdotal and circumstantial evidence is highly persuasive,” Hooper said.

planetc1.com-news @ 08:09 | Article ID: 946390195