April 1996 

First HIV-positive lab chimp finally develops AIDS after eleven years


by Paul Philpott

One of the many arguments used by critics against the HIV theory of AIDS has been the absolute lack of AIDS among the 150 HIV-positive laboratory chimpanzees experimentally inoculated over ten years ago. Advocates of the HIV theory now have what they consider an answer to this challenge: one of those chimps has finally developed AIDS, according to scientists at the Yerkes Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta.

Jerom, one of 13 Yerkes chimpanzees participating in various HIV-positive primate studies at several institutions nation-wide, developed one AIDS symptom (thrombocytopenia) in 1989, recovered, then remained healthy until March, 1995, reported Newsday [Jan. 31, 1996, pA25]. At that time, correspondent Laurrie Garrett wrote, Jerom "came down with one ailment after another in a sequence familiar to those who treat human AIDS: chronic-to-severe diarrhea, cytomegalovirus-induced eye damage and acute pneumonia. The chimp's CD4 [also called T4] immune cell [count] dropped from about one thousand to 90" prior to developing clinical symptoms.

As is typical of most developments in HIV/AIDS research, these results were revealed at a public forum rather than in a scientific journal. In the case of Jerom, his AIDS status was announced by Yerkes scientist Dr. Francis Novembre at January's Third Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Washington, D.C.
None of the other twelve HIV-positive Yerkes chimps have ever developed any AIDS conditions. But "last fall, Novembre transfused about 40 milliliters of the ailing chimp's blood into another chimpanzee [Nathan] that had never been exposed to either SIV [the so-called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus] or HIV. In just two weeks, the second chimp's CD4 levels dropped from 1,200 to 320. By last week [January], they had fallen to 10" without Nathan developing any clinical AIDS symptoms.

More detailed information followed on February 13 in the form of a news release issued by Yerkes' Cathy Yarbrough [cathy@rmy.emory.edu]. Jerom's most dire symptom evidently was anemia, which "was becoming more severe and untreatable." For this reason, Jerom was "humanely euthanized." According to the press release, Jerom never received any "anti-HIV" drugs, including AZT, but was "treated...for clinical diseases that occurred secondary to the HIV infection." As for his pneumonia, Yarbrough described it as "low grade," in contrast to the Newsday article, which called it "acute." Yarbrough did not acknowledge CMV infection, but did list coughing--not mentioned by Newsday --as one of Jerom's symptoms.

Twelve other Yerkes chimps were also infected along with Jerom in 1984 (Garrett had incorrectly reported the number as nine), but none has developed any of the thirty or so official AIDS conditions. Neither have any of the other 125 to 150 total HIV-positive laboratory chimps, located at a variety of institutions world-wide, who were experimentally injected over ten years ago with preparations made from blood serum from human AIDS patients [Duesberg, Inventing the AIDS Virus , Regnery Press; and Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled? , North Atlantic Books].

Dr. Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the Yerkes Center "explained that to prove scientifically that an infectious agent is responsible for a disease, researchers must show that the agent creates a similar infection and disease experimentally." In the case of HIV and AIDS, both people and chimps can become HIV-positive when exposed to HIV, but until Jerom, HIV-positiveness was associated with AIDS conditions only in people.

Yarbrough's release included this quote from Insel: "Over ten years ago, through chimpanzee studies conducted at several institutes including Yerkes, we knew that HIV caused the same infection in chimpanzees that occurs in people who eventually develop AIDS. Results with Jerom proved that HIV also caused the clinical disease in chimpanzees. The results with Jerom have provided the missing piece to the puzzle."

Revelation: HIV-AIDS Model Unproved

So, until Jerom developed AIDS conditions, Dr. Insel considered the HIV model of AIDS unproved. This is big news.
One of the continuing scandals attending the HIV/AIDS doctrine is that its adherents considered the hypothesis to have been proven instantaneously upon its proposal. A live-broadcast press conference in April, 1984 announced a set of studies that were not even published until a week later. Those studies showed that of 72 AIDS patients, 12% lacked antibodies that react with HIV proteins, and 66% lacked any HIV proteins at all [Gallo, Science , May 4]. Yet since the press conference, examinations of alternative AIDS hypotheses have been banned from US research institutions such as Yerkes.

Those data hardly justified the instant effect of the press conference that proceeded their publication: the absolute prohibition of non-HIV AIDS explanations from examination--or even consideration--at all all research institutions, including Yerkes.

Yet Insel admits now that an animal model for the HIV-AIDS model has not existed for the past eleven years, even as he acknowledges that such a model is required "to prove scientifically that an infectious agent is responsible for a disease."

Certainly Insel did not realize that by speaking honestly and stating the obvious he would implicate himself in a great scandal: for eleven years now, AIDS causation has been an open question, but only one possible answer has been permitted for consideration, even by himself.

Dishonest Experiments

Not only are alternative theories banned from consideration, the HIV-AIDS theory is never tested honestly. For example, when none of the 150 or so HIV-positive chimps developed AIDS after ten years, that should have falsified the official view, which holds that 50% to 95% of all HIV-positive individuals develop severe AIDS conditions within ten years. Instead, the primate experiments were continued into their eleventh year. When one (Jerom) finally developed some AIDS conditions, they were automatically blamed on HIV. The other chimps, who on average are about 15 years old, according to the reports, every day grow closer to the end of their natural life expectancy. At some point they are bound to start losing body mass and mental capacity, and become susceptible to opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, just like aging humans.

As those official AIDS conditions inevitably appear in this aging population, will each one be used as "proof" for the HIV-AIDS model? The likely answer is Yes, and this exemplifies the fundamental dishonesty that characterizes HIV "research."

Chimp AIDS?

There are many problems with Insel's conclusion that the Yerkes results support the HIV theory of AIDS.

(1) After observing 125 to 150 HIV-positive chimps for eleven years, researchers have reported only two cases of AIDS, in Jerom and Nathan, yielding a rate of 1.6% to 1.3%. Those are remarkably low figures compared to the official view--which the primate experiments are supposed to be testing--that 50% to 95% of all humans will develop AIDS within ten years of becoming HIV-positive.

(2) That eleven-year rate for AIDS conditions in HIV-positive lab chimps is so low that it is hard to imagine that it could be even lower in HIV-negative chimps. Yet that is exactly what Insel would have to demonstrate if he is to assert logically that HIV-chimps are at increased risk for AIDS conditions. But of course he has not done so, and this rather obvious point seems to have never even occurred to the elaborately funded HIV researchers.

(3) Jerom's most serious clinical symptom was anemia, which is not an AIDS condition. HIV infects T4 immune cells, not the oxygen-carrying red blood cells that are lost in anemia. Thus there is not even a theoretical basis for linking HIV (or even immune suppression presumably caused by HIV) to loss of red blood cells.

Yet many AIDS patients do develop anemia, as Yarbrough reminds us in her press release: "anemia...occurs in people with AIDS." But that does not mean AIDS-anemia is caused by HIV. A more likely cause is AZT, the "anti-AIDS" drug that is a demonstrably effective killer of bone marrow, which produces red blood cells. Since Jerom was not treated with AZT, and HIV is unable to effect red blood cell counts, his case is a curiosity, not a clear example of AIDS,

(4) The case of Nathan, the chimp whose T4 counts began a profound decline immediately upon being transfused with Jerom's blood, is also a curiosity, not a clear example of AIDS.

Naturally Nathan's low T4 counts were automatically blamed on HIV. Yet nowhere in the medical literature is there a precedent for AIDS appearing so quickly upon exposure to HIV, which is why a ten year latency period is claimed for it. It is odd indeed that of the first 150 HIV-positive lab chimps, the only one to develop persistent AIDS conditions should do so in the eleventh year, but the next chimp should develop a persistent AIDS condition immediately.

Odd, that is, if the HIV theory is the only explanation considered.

In order for Nathan's case to be honestly advanced as supporting the HIV-AIDS model, it would have to be shown that chimps do not experience falling T4 counts upon receiving whole blood transfusions from HIV-negative donors, particularly from donors who harbor active CMV infections and pneumonia, and suffer from chronic diarrhea and anemia, as Nathan's donor Jerom did. It is well known that blood transfusions are inherently immune suppressive [Root-Bernstein, Rethinking AIDS ]. Nathan's immunosuppressive reaction to Jerom's transfused blood may have nothing to do with the blood's HIV status.

A Proposed Chimp Experiment

To find out why even HIV-negative human beings develop all AIDS conditions [Duesberg, Root-Bernstein, ibid .], we propose Dr. Insel conduct the following obvious experiment: compare his fourteen HIV-positive chimps (including Nathan) with five 14-member groups of HIV-negative chimps. He should subject four of the HIV-negative groups to different proposed alternative causes of AIDS, and use the fifth as a control.

One group would be exposed to the factors that characterized the original gay AIDS patients (some of whom turned out to be HIV-negative [Gallo, ibid .): chronic consumption of street-grade recreational drugs such as cocaine, speed, and poppers; regular exposure to a variety of venereal, parasitic, and blood-born pathogens such as those that cause syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, hepatitis, mononucleosis, and amebiasis; and regular treatments for those infections.

The second group would be exposed to the factors that characterized the original drug-injecting AIDS patients (some of whom also turned out to be HIV-negative [Gallo, ibid .): repetitive injections with street grade heroin and cocaine, perhaps using unsterile needles shared by cohort members.

The third group would exposed to the factors that continue to characterize African AIDS patients (most of whom continue to be HIV-negative [Duesberg, ibid .]: long term malnutrition, reliance on untreated drinking water (also used as sewage for the cohort), chronic exposure to tropical and parasitic infections such as those that cause malaria, tuberculosis, and amebiasis, and regular treatments for those infections.
The fourth group would be exposed to the one factor that characterizes most American AIDS patients today (who by arbitrary definition must be HIV-positive): AZT, the cancer chemotherapy that destroys the cells composing the immune and digestive systems, and damages nerve, brain, and muscle cells.

Whereas only two of 125-plus total HIV-positive lab chimps (Jerom and Nathan) have developed any AIDS conditions in over ten years, we offer the following prediction for our proposed chimp experiment: more than one chimp in each of the four test groups will develop AIDS conditions within ten years. And it won't surprise us if one of the control chimps does as well.

A Proposed Human Experiment

Proponents of the HIV theory wonder why AIDS so frequently occurs in cohorts of HIV-positive humans, but so rarely in cohorts of HIV-positive chimps. Critics are not surprised.

Every cohort study of HIV-positive humans has exclusively comprised subjects characterized by extremely compromised underlying health: gay men who consume non-injected recreational drugs, drug injectors, hemophiliacs, and patients with a variety of catastrophic medical conditions requiring blood transfusions. In addition to these unusually poor health factors, one-third [Ascher, Science , Feb. 24, 1995, p1080] to one-half [British Medical Journal , July 15, 1995] consume toxic "anti-AIDS" drugs (such as the cancer chemotherapy AZT) before they ever develop any AIDS condistions.

It really is no wonder that 50% to 95% of the people in these cohorts develop one or more of the 29 AIDS diseases within ten years.

In contrast, the HIV-positive lab chimps have been subjected only to an occasional process that causes HIV-positiveness, with no street drugs, prophylactic medications, or other health-compromising factors.

We propose that such a study of HIV-positive humans would result in a similar absence of AIDS.