Origin of AIDS: debate intensifies

Claims that AIDS originated from trials of a polio vaccine in the 1950s are repudiated, but just won't go away.

Robert Walgate
Sep 11, 2000

LONDON, September 12 (Science Analysed). On Monday the Royal Society of London,bravely attempting to inject some scientific order into a debate on the origin of AIDS, found itself in the midst of one of its hottest conflicts yet.

"We are being accused of lying" said Stanley Plotkin, of the Universityof Pennsylvania. Plotkin has spent a year with writer Ed Hooper's book, TheRiver, investigating its argument that trials of an oral polio vaccine, CHAT, transmitted the chimpanzee virus SIV to the world in the Congo in 1957-59, thereby launching the AIDS epidemic when SIV evolved into HIV in the human population. "After a year's work, I'm satisfied the things alleged never happened."

Ed Hooper, also on the podium at the end of the first of two days ofpresentations on the hypothesis, said "I have been deeply unimpressed by what Plotkin and Koprowski [Hilary Koprowski of Thomas Jefferson University,...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?