News Items

The Man Who Knew Too Soon

Eight years ago Tom Curtis reported that AIDS could have been spread by an experimental polio vaccine grown on monkey kidneys. Scientists sniffed. Journalists scoffed. A polio hero sued. The story died. Now, a new book says the theory wasn't so stupid after all.

by Brad Tyer, Houston Press, 20-26 January 2000

Letter to Star-Ledger

Letter concerning The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Submitted to the Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)

Dear sir,

As author of "The River - a Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS" [Little, Brown, 1999], I would like to make a few comments about, and corrections to, Carol Ann Campbell's otherwise excellent article "AIDS Jersey Roots Explored", published on December 26, 1999.

The End of Aetiology

Copyright 1999 The New Republic, Inc.
The New Republic

The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS
by Edward Hooper
(Little, Brown, 1070 pp., $35)

by Luc Montagnier
(W.W. Norton & Company, 249 pp., $24.95)

Jerome Groopman is the Recanati Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His new book, Second Opinions: Stories of Intuition and Choice in the Changing World of Medicine, will be published by Viking next spring.

AIDS' Jersey Roots Explored

Virus evolved from Clinton prison polio vaccine, author contends

Star-Ledger Staff

[Article about Edward Hooper's book The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS]

Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey), 26 December 1999

Patient No. 6 baffled James Oleske.

The pediatrician couldn't understand the little girl's mysterious symptoms, such as sepsis, and a rare pneumonia he had never seen before. For some unknown reason, the child's immune system was failing to protect her from these strange infections.

Laying Blame for HIV

New book charges 1950s polio vaccine spread AIDS in Africa

[Commentary on The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS]

Laurie Garrett, Staff Writer

 Newsday, Tuesday 14 December 1999

EVER SINCE the AIDS epidemic began, it has sparked conspiracy theories. The latest, reincarnated from an idea forwarded in 1992, asserts that African polio vaccines of the 1950s were contaminated with the animal version of HIV and that a subsequent cover-up has hidden the evidence.

New York Times Hooper Response

Edward Hooper's 12 December 1999 letter to the New York Times about The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Response to Plotkin and Koprowski's letter to the New York Times ; sent 12 December 1999. Publication status unknown.

To the Editor,

New York Times Letter (2)

To the Editor:

The Doctor's World column on AIDS origins makes valid points in the argument that Edward Hooper's theory of vaccine contamination should be explored further. Those scientists who feel the legitimization of Hooper's theory would tarnish public confidence in the safety of vaccines are not only shortsighted, but naïve.

New York Times Letter (1)

Challenging a Theory
To the Editor:

The Doctor's World column "New Book Challenges Theories of AIDS Origin" on Nov. 30 describes the hypothesis that H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, was initially transmitted to humans during the first large-scale trials of oral polio vaccine in what was then the Belgian Congo. Although we are not named in the article, it is common knowledge in the scientific community that we conducted those trials. The hypothesis is based on the suggestion in a recently published book that we used chimpanzee cells to prepare the vaccine, and that these cells were, unknown to us, contaminated with a precursor of the human AIDS virus.

Debate Rages Anew Over Origin of AIDS

Copyright 1999 IPS-Inter Press Service/Global Information Network

IPS-Inter Press Service

The long-held perception that the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) began spontaneously in Africa has been challenged by a British writer, sparking renewed debate over the origins of the disease.

In his recent book, "The River: A Journey Back To The Source Of HIV And AIDS", Edward Hooper puts forth the provocative theory that AIDS actually was introduced to the African continent by Western medicine.

New York Times Review

Heart of Darkness Revisited

'Every one of all known HIV-1 cases in Africa before 1981 came from places within 160km of those CHAT vaccination sites.' Could the AIDS pandemic have been sparked off by polio researchers in Belgium's former African colonies? ANDREW DONALDSON reports on a new book that claims to have found the source of HIV.

[Commentary on The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS]

South Africa Sunday Times, 14 November 1999

FEBRUARY 1959 and the wind of change is blowing through Africa. Two doctors, an American and a Belgian, find themselves in Leopoldville soon after the first pro-independence riots in the capital of the then Belgian Congo.

Economist Review

Did a vaccine cause AIDS?

By Edward Hooper. Little, Brown; 1,104 pages; $34. Allen Lane; £25

A frozen sample in a Philadelphia lab could illuminate the origin of AIDS

Debate Over the Origin of AIDS

[Commentary on The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS]

Scientists from the Wistar Institute conducted polio-vaccine tests in the Congo region in the late 1950s. That, a British journalist believes, is when the chimpanzee virus was introduced in humans. The scientists say that's not true.

By Huntly Collins

Philadelphia Inquirer, Monday 8 November 1999

After years of speculation, scientists now agree that the AIDS pandemic began when an AIDS-like virus from a chimpanzee, probably in west-central Africa, jumped species and infected a human being sometime around the middle of this century.

U.S. Researchers Stung by Claims of AIDS Origin

(News report re The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS)

By David Morgan, Monday, November 8, 1999

PHILADELPHIA, Nov 8 (Reuters) - An eminent U.S. medical research centre will release lab specimens from a 1950s polio vaccine project in Africa in hopes of dispelling claims that its scientists inadvertently caused the AIDS epidemic, officials said on Monday.

Tracking AIDS' Origin

Author blames polio vaccine tests for scourge

[Article about The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS] New York Daily News, Friday 29 October 1999

For more than a decade now, Edward Hooper, a former British reporter for the BBC in Africa, has been crisscrossing the world doggedly pursuing clues to the most frightening human mystery of our age - the cause of HIV/AIDS.


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