The River

From the Dust Jacket of The River

IT NOW SEEMS CERTAIN THAT HIV can be traced back to retroviruses found in certain species of African apes and monkeys. But why did these simian viruses suddenly transfer to the human species? Those who believe in a natural movement across the species barrier would be hard-pressed to explain why this transfer did not occur until the late twentieth century. Do we need to look elsewhere for the true source of HIV and AIDS?

Book Covers

Dust jackets from the various editions of the book.

Was Bad Science The Source Of Aids In Africa?

Africa-at-Large; Was Bad Science The Source Of Aids In Africa? (Commentary)

Sam Mwale, The East African (Nairobi), September 28, 2000

© 2000 AllAfrica, Inc

Nairobi - For most of this year, South African President Thabo Mbeki has rubbed the global HIV/Aids establishment the wrong way by questioning whether Aids is caused by the HIV virus. He got his answer at the global conference on Aids in Durban in June. The scientific and medical establishment has closed ranks on the cause of Aids: it is HIV, period.

Bitter Debate on Polio-Vaccine Theory of AIDS

Africa-at-Large Bitter Debate on Polio-Vaccine Theory of AIDS

Wairagala Wakabi, Paul Redfern; The East African, September 21, 2000

© 2000 Nation Newspapers Ltd.

Nairobi - The Two sides in the increasingly bitter row over the origin of Aids appeared to be as far apart as ever following a conference on September 11 at the Royal Society in London.

AIDS: A Man-Made Disaster?

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

The Scotsman, 24 June 2000, Magazine pp. 16-21.

WHEN THE BLOOD LEFT Bill Hamilton it drained away as fast as a reputation, starving his great mind of oxygen and leaving his body in a coma. Hailed as the "most distinguished Darwinian since Darwin", Hamilton had just returned to the UK from the Congo where he had been seeking evidence that another great scientist had inadvertently triggered the deaths of 16 million people.

The Origin of AIDS

Prospect (UK), June 2000, pp. 31-35; reprinted as "The true origin of AIDS" in Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), 7-13 July 2000, pp. 22-23, 31.

Most scientists believe that Aids was "naturally" transferred from primates to human beings via a hunter who ate a chimpanzee. But a competing theory claims that Aids was caused in the 1950s when thousands of Africans were given a live polio vaccine derived from chimp kidneys. The stakes are getting higher.

River of Tears

Why is Aids an epidemic? Edward Hooper spent years looking for the source, and his book has sparked controversy over claims of human error in the vaccination programmes

Published in The Guardian, Wednesday 5 April 2000

In June 1981, two unusual events occurred in very different parts of the world. In Los Angeles, five gay men fell sick with rare symptoms suggestive of immunological problems, which prompted two local doctors to write a paper for the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Meanwhile, in Mugana, northern Tanzania, a German missionary doctor saw five women from the Ugandan border region, all suffering from untreatable anaerobic ulcers of the groin and anus. Some new pathogen was abroad, and these doctors were among the first to recognise that fact.

The River Runs Through It

[Article about The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS]

Contaminated polio vaccines started AIDS in Africa in the '50s. A National Enquirer headline? No. It's the premise of a big new book fueling an old controversy among researchers.

Could a human error in 1950s medical research be the cause of the massive global catastrophe of AIDS?

POZ Magazine, March 2000

A highly controversial book positing just such a theory has been kicking up dust in the AIDS research world since its release last September. The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS (Little, Brown and Company/Boston), written by British medical researcher and former BBC correspondent Edward Hooper, proposes that HIV emerged from a contaminated batch of experimental oral polio vaccine (OPV) administered to Africans in the late 1950s.

Tissue Wars

Review of The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and Aids by Edward Hooper.

London Review of Books, Vol 22, No 5, 2 March 2000

More than a thousand pages long and the fruit of a decade's work, The River amounts to something more than the attempt to track down the source of Aids. It is, in fact, three books rolled into one. The investigation advertised by the title is, of course, of the highest significance. It was in 1981 that attention was first drawn to the condition, as evidence mounted that gays in New York and California were falling victim to illnesses like pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and Kaposi's sarcoma, rarely seen in otherwise healthy young people. A number of theories were proposed as to its origins, some unscientific ('the wrath of God'), and others (homosexuality or Haitians) generally discredited once the human immunodeficiency virus had been isolated.

Daily Telegraph Review

"Was polio vaccine the cause of AIDS?"

(Review of The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS) by Matt Ridley

Daily Telegraph (UK), 1 March 2000

Bill Hamilton, the brilliant Oxford zoologist who died last week, caught his fatal disease while in the Congo. He was there in search of chimpanzee stools with which to test a radical theory about the origin of the AIDS virus. Saddened by his death, I spent the weekend reading the book that had convinced him of this theory. It has shaken me to the core.

THES Review

Review of Hooper, E. 1999. The River: a Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics, UMDNJ

Times Higher Educational Supplement, 18 February 2000

New Statesman Review

Review of The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS

New Statesman, 31 January 2000

Edward Hooper, The River: a journey back to the source of HIV and AIDS, London and New York, Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1999, xxiii + 1070 pp., including index and appendices.

It has recently come to light that in Gateshead in the mid-1950s about 250,000 children were chosen for a polio vaccine trial. Parents were given minimal information before the children were called for shots of the oral vaccine. It is now clear that New Variant CJD has nothing to do with eating beef. It is the result of this trial. A few batches of the vaccine, cultured on bovine tissue, were contaminated with the virus which produces NVCJD.

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

Of Chimps and Men

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

Science, 14 January 2000, Volume 287, p. 233

Stanley A. Plotkin and Hilary Koprowski say in their letter (Science's Compass, 24 Dec., p. 2450) that in my book, The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS (Little, Brown, 1999), I suggest that they "covertly used chimpanzee cells to produce the live oral polio vaccine (OPV) that was used in the first mass campaign with OPV in the former Belgian Congo."

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.


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