Your coverage of Robert Gallo's annual lab meeting (F. Hoke, The Scientist, Nov. 14, 1994, page 1) revealed unmistakably that research based on the HIV theory of AIDS is at a standstill. Ten years after the discovery of what the newspapers call "HIV, the virus that causes AIDS," it is clear that scientists haven't a clue as to what HIV is supposed to be doing to the cells of the immune system. Gallo's own summary said that there are "conflicting views on the question of whether HIV kills T cells directly or indirectly. That general area was, to me, one of the high points of the meeting, but without clear-cut resolution."

After a decade of futility, HIV scientists are making no progress in explaining how a retrovirus can be killing cells it doesn't infect. How many more years will it take before biomedical science is willing to reconsider a...

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