The latest reaction of Peter Duesberg (1) to the ascertainment that "HIV" does not exist (2), and to the thorough line of argument that all claims about and characteristics ascribed to "HIV" do not withstand specific scientific examination (3), raises questions:

- Why does he so vehemently defend something for which there are not only no proofs but also no necessity, and which has pushed millions of people into fear of a retroviral plague transmitted through sex and blood?

- Why do "HIV"-virologists never subject their "viruses" to the same generally accepted standard techniques of molecular biology as all other virologists and biologists do?

In his latest monograph of 5.11.96 Peter Duesberg introduces a more untenable claim than ever, which neither he nor anybody else can substantiate, to suggest again that there is a genetic entity "HlV": he equates cloning, a standard technique of multiplying a given genetic sequence, with virus isolation and the existence of "HIV"!

After the question of the existence of "HIV" was first posed and people began to rethink "HIV" and to understand that with the available, exact identification techniques of Genetics, Biochemistry and Virology not a single aspect of the existence of "HIV" has been proved, apparently there was a desire quickly to postulate new criteria for its existence. That this new line of argument is put by Peter Duesberg, known for his critique of the idea of an infectious AIDS yet otherwise one of the godfathers of retrovirology is revealing.

But the quicksand beneath Duesberg's construct is visible:

- when instead of referring to the established criteria of structural identification, he now postulates functional criteria: "cloning (multiplying) is isolation", though the thing to be cloned has never been identified as part of "HIV". No structural criteria with which one can exactly identify genuine biological entities are to be used in the case of "HIV" - no analysis of the form and size of an isolated virus, the kind and composition of its proteins (e.g. if one wants to use the proteins in an approved antibody-test), its genetic substance (e.g. if one wants to carry out the test-tube experiments which Duesberg cites or do viral-load measurements). We are encouraged arbitrarily to believe in only the repetition of processes, which ad hoc were ascribed to be viral attributes.

- when he claims there are at least 19 full-length HIV genomes that 19 molecules of the complete genetic substance of "HIV" exist in this world though this has not been shown or claimed in a single scientific publication.

For the purpose of secure identification of a virus, the right means - the means of structural isolation - have to be applied before one carries out functional examinations with parts of the virus. For a clear understanding of this important argument, the main terms are again briefly explained here:

A virus is an acellular form of organism, being no more and no less than a piece of genetic substance (according to a given species of virus, always of the same length) and a covering surrounding the genetic substance, composed mainly of proteins (according to a given species of virus, always of the same form and size). Viruses are stable because they have to leave cells or even the organism in order to infect other cells or organisms anew. Using centrifugation techniques it is no problem to separate viruses from all contaminating components and in doing so to isolate them - then photograph them, then represent their proteins and genetic substance in a direct way.

In the case of "HlV" this has not been done up to today, for "HIV" as a whole or therefore for any of its components - its proteins or genetic substance (2, 3).

The scientific conclusion is that the existence of ,,HIV,, has so far not been proved; the logical explanation, given that all characteristics ascribed to "HIV" are well-known cellular entities and characteristics, is that "HIV" never was, and the claim of the existence of "HIV" is not sustainable.

The idea which led to the claim that HIV exists is based on a decisive false assumption. From 1970 on some scientists and much of the public were led to believe that since a certain biochemical function, reverse transcription with its then unfamiliar mode of action, did not fit the dominant world picture of genetics, it would be explained only through the claim of the existence of a new class of viruses, the retroviruses. The shock of reverse transcription was that it is possible to make genetic substance out of messenger substance, which until then was believed to be impossible. However, that the detection of reverse transcription is not, as some research directions still assume, a sign of certain death, e.g. HIV=AIDS=Death (Gallo, Ho and colleagues), or a reference to the "most harmless viruses in the world" (Duesberg) was proved when it was shown that reverse transcription reflects a repair mechanism of damage in cellular genetic material - in one revealing experiment, the chromosomes of yeast (5). So,tragically, in 1970 the detection of a healing process gave birth to the idea of a new class of viruses and eventually "HlV", because astonishingly researchers were not willing to rethink their models or listen to what nature has to tell them. The stubbornly held notion that reverse transcription was inevitably "retroviral" was first employed in the war against cancer as "cell-multiplying viruses", then as the opposite, in the war against (medically induced) AIDS as "cell-killing viruses".

It is of the greatest importance in this context that "HIV- researchers - when trying to detect the activity of reverse transcription which is always the first step in the attempt to identify "retroviral" structures and characteristics, instead of using the natural genetic messenger material, the RNA-genome of the virus which should be there if the viruses existed - always use, without any explanation why, synthetic messenger-material templates (6). Above all it is known that those templates are not specific for the process of reverse transcription - that they are efficiently recognised and transcribed by the normal, common, cellular genetic-material-producing enzymes as well (3).

The whole idea of "HIV" would collapse if it was possible to bring this fact to public attention.

It should be clarified: it is very normal that genetic material DNA, natural or artificially multiplied - when put onto cells is able to enter those cells, may integrate itself into the cells, chromosomes and eventually may be activated to produce its proteins. The idea of vaccination with "naked DNA" (to which I strongly object for various reasons) is based on these known mechanisms. To add a DNA clone to cells and later to prove its presence and probable activity is nowadays a standard experiment in lectures on biology but in no way a proof for the existence of "HIV".

So one can only guess why molecular biologist Peter Duesberg refers to such a standard experiment as proof of the existence of "HlV". As the group around Eleni Eleopulos et al. has shown (3) neither he nor anybody else has shown that the genetic pieces of "HIV" used in the transfection experiments he cites (9) were isolated out of a virus. Only if researchers were able to multiply from cells exactly that genetic material which previously had been isolated from a virus, only then the claim of virus detection would be valid: virus-isolation logically always goes first. Or may anybody postulate new viruses, sprinkling his or her genetic material onto cells, detecting this material in the cells and claiming a new virus? A repeated artefact remains an artefact. To call such re-detected DNA "infectious DNA" is conspicuously misleading.

When Peter Duesberg refers explicitly! to a publication in which we read, "...tested blood cells of 409 antibody-positives including 144 AIDS patients and 265 healthy people. ln addition 131 antibody-negatives were tested. HlV-specific DNA subsets ... were found in 403 of the 409 antibody-positives, but none of the antibody-negative people" (10) while these claims and statements are not at all substantiated in the further reading (3), it becomes obvious that he simply cannot have correctly read this publication which clearly touches clinical aspects, and that he thereby risks grossly violating his scientific ethics.

And when those ethical gentlemen, Duesberg’s colleagues, "two of the world’s leading retrovirologists Robert Gallo and Robin Weiss"’ are invoked - without doubt about their claims eitherfor having "re-isolated only HIV from Montagnier’s virus stock" without recognising any further contamination. Peter Duesberg’s pseudo-rationale needs an explicit comment:

- If one looked for other "retroviruses’, in Montagnier’s stock, they would be found in great numbers these days. The human genome carries thousands of such genes that can be traced back to the action of reverse transcription (3) and were named "retroviral elements" by "retrovirologists" in an ad hoc decision (2).

- In Robert Gallo’s humiliated hunt for a credible new retrovirus, he was not taking care over or notice of "grossly contaminating viruses" but instead mixed up together - it actually happened the materials of (10) patients, in order to be able to create "HlV" (2).

- Gallo himself wrote in the very important statement of the 27th September 1983 (after the decisive conference in Cold Spring Harbour!): " ...the virus described by Montagnier I have never seen [sic], and I guess that he has a mixture out of two. On the other side some of his data are interesting but not at all conclusive ...".

When Duesberg urges: "As I pointed out in my Missing Virus reward claim in the July/August Continuum, infectious HlV DNA has been isolated from infected cells several times by molecular cloning", he himself is honest enough to claim that this "infectious HIV DNA" has been isolated not out of "AlDS"-patients but from special "infected cells". He conceals that those cells underwent a very particular treatment, and had DNA added before (2 3). He cites only literature in which ex-cathedra the same claim as his is made without a single reference that the importuned "infectious HIV DNA" was detected in or isolated from a virus (3). Predictably, three references - Fisher et al., Barnett et al. and Levy et al. - which Duesberg cites, to support his claims reveal that phenomenon typical of AIDS research: in the headline and the abstract of the publication things are exactly named and specific claims are made that are wholly unsubstantiated in the further text. One has only to read the smallprint of the technical comments (examples are commented on in ref. 3, n.b. pages 16-18) to see and understand the misconceptions behind them. When Duesberg lends his reputation and charismatic authority to such duplicitous science with its fatal consequences, without any reflection of the detailed critique (3) and especially without any analysis in his field of expertise it is very precarious and alarming. The explanation for his contrived insistence with highly technical and quasi-exact vocabulary that contrary to the complete case of Papadopulos et al. (3), there is somewhere out there a ,"HIV", detectable only through cloning because "cloning... is in fact the most rigorous isolation science has to offer for retroviruses", may be that though a genuine retrovirus "HIV" has never identified, "retrovirologist" Duesberg can’t or doesn’t want to admit it - for reasons that may not be obscure.

But it is increasingly beyond indulgence that Duesberg piles up claims of 19 complete genomes (complete genetic sequences) of "HIV" which it has been possible to artificially multiply in the form of clones, then, to build up theories of probability bereft of significance gives the impression that they all have the same length when no scientist before him has ever claimed this, ever seen such things or of course ever published such claims. ln the only reference he could have meant (4) it’s enough to read the title "Recovery of virtually full-length HIV-1 provirus of diverse subtypes from primary virus cultures using the polymerase chain reaction", to understand that Duesberg wildly appropriates references that seem suitable for his purpose without actually knowing them. The cited method, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is not able to construct something like a viral genome (12). It certainly has to be clarified that concocted and size-selected genetic molecules like "HlV"-clones can never "represent an almost theoretical isolation" somehow on account of their lengths being in a proportion of 1 to 100,000 against the length of the full human genetic material. Such clones result from the process of concocting smaller molecules, produced in a test tube using the cellular genetics and cellular enzymes, and then, to present a "whole" sequence, uniting the smaller sequences in theory, on paper, or in a computer, following a blueprint from the arbitrary rules of retrovirology.

lt beggars amazement how one may state ex cathedra that "...the high standards of virus isolation... may be relevant for crystallographers or chemists... but are not relevant for functional isolation", when it is those unspecified "HIV" proteins created in cultured cells when "HIV"-researchers tried to induce reverse transcriptase activity that are used in the "AIDS"-test, which is an instrument of sentence over death and life. What by God is then relevant in this kind of "science"? "Not relevant for functional isolation"! What for heavens sake is meant by "functional"? That the "AlDS"-test works when one believes in its function?

And it is incomprehensible how "AIDS" expert Prof. Duesberg continues to discuss "AIDS" as if there were an autonomous clinical picture which one may call "AlDS". Every concerned person knows by now that "AIDS" has a different meaning on every continent, with its different causes. "AIDS" is an inadmissible artificial diagnosis: it has been legitimised through the introduction of "HIV" as a constructed cause. The AlDS-myth with its exploitation of the fear of an alleged deadly sex-plague has been blindly launched into the realm of seemingly scientifically-based biological fact through the pseudo-rational "HIV" detection technique. But the two terms according to the rules of construction depend on each other. The clarification of the question whether "HIV" exists, with the most secure method of identification available (and this would be only the isolation of complete "HI-viruses") is a sine qua non for dismantling the mass-delusional trance called "AIDS". Only then may the task of research with the needed temperance and precision, into the causality of the concrete disease complexes behind "AIDS", be addressed (14).

The danger that the "AIDS"-critical movement splits or temporarily weakens over the question whether "HIV" exists is therefore secondary, and in any case subordinate to, the right to life of every person. The common matter is to secure the human rights of every stigmatised person, not a personal cult. The human rights do include free, and in this case essential, access to information. Censorship - and worse, misleading, for political or personal reasons, be it ignorance or the "will not to know" - is endangering human lives. lt is urgent. "The one who comes too late is punished by life" (general political knowledge). Those who too late or never receive essential knowledge may die in the throes of an "AIDS" diagnosis or commit suicide (sad, bad wisdom amongst HIV+s and PWAs). That "HIV" has never been identified as secure biological matter is of the greatest importance and must immediately be told to every stigmatised person. No HIV - no false diagnosis AIDS - no death sentence - no false treatment - no unnecessary suffering - no needless dying, but new chances for people who for complex reasons got seriously ill, amongst them being labelled as "AIDS"-cases and "HIV"-positives at all, and then falling victim to medical shortsightedness based on laboratory-technical constructs.

There is no (HI-)Virus. Stupid? *

Stefan Lanka

Source: Continuum Feb./March 1997


1 Peter Duesberg: Duesberg’s answer of 5.11.1996 in Continuum Vol 4, No 5, February/March 1997.

2 Stefan Lanka: Fehldiagnose AIDS? Bisher konnte das AlDS-Virus nicht isoliert werden. Wechselwirkung, 48-53, Dezember 1994. Stefan Lanka: HIV - reality or artefact? Continuum Vol 3, No 1, 4-9, April/May 1995. Stefan Lanka: HIV debate. Continuum Vol 3, No 2, 4-7 + 27-30, June/July 1995

3 Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Valendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitriou, David Causer: The isolation of HIV: Has it really been achieved? The case against. Continuum Vol 4, No 3, Supplement 1-24, September/October 1996.

4 M. O. Salimen et al.: Recovery of virtually full-length HIV-I provirus of diverse subtypes from primary virus cultures using the polymerase chain reaction. Virology 213, 80-86, 1995.

5 Jef D. Boeke: A little help for my ends. Nature Vol 328, 579-581,17 October 1996. Shu-Chun Teng et al.: Retrotransposon reverse-transcriptase-mediated repair of chromosomal breaks. Nature Vol 328, 641-644,17 October 1996.

6 Brian W. J. Mahy and Hillar O. Kangro: Virology Methods Manual. Academis Press 1996. check any textbook on cell-biology, ref. 2+3 and e.g.:

7 Randy Schekman and Lelio Orci: Coat Proteins and Vesicle Budding. Science, Vol 271,1526-1533,15 March 1996

8 Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, Vaiendar F. Turner, John M. Papadimitnou, David Causer: Reply to Duesberg’s letter of 5.11.1996. Continuum Vol 4, No 5, February/March 1997.

9 Peter Duesberg: Peter Duesberg responds. Continuum, Vol 4, No 2, 8-9, July/August 1996.

10 J.B. Jackson et al.: Human immunodeficiency virus type I detected in all seropositive symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 28, 16-19, 1990.

11 Robert Gallo in a letter to Prof. Deinhardt dated 27.9.1983. In: Abschlussbericht des HlV-Bluter-Untersuchungsausschusses, Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 12/8591 Dokument 36, Seite 312, 25.10.1994

12 Christine Johnson: Viral Load and the PCR. Continuum Vol 4, No 4, 32-37, November/December 1996.

13 Heinrich Kremer und Stefan Lanka: Vorsicht AlDS-Medizin - Lebensgefahr! (Attention AlDS-Medicine - Mortal danger! a translation is available at Continuum/London). Raum & Zeit 79, 81-90,1996.

14 Heinrich Kremer: Acquired latrogenic Death Syndrome (AIDS). Continuum Vol 4 No 3, 8-13, November/December 1996.