AIDS: A U. S. - Made Monster? PREFACE In an extensive article in the Summer-Autumn 1990 issue of "Top Secret', Prof J. Segal and Dr. L. Segal outline their theory that AIDS is a man-made disease, originating at Pentagon bacteriological warfare labs at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
"Top Secret' is the international edition of the German magazine Geheimb and is considered by many to be a sister publication to the American Covert Action Information Bulletin (CAIB). In fact, Top Secret carries the Naming Names column, which CAIB is prevented from doing by the American government, and which names CIA agents in different locations in the world. The article, named "AIDS: US-Made Monster' and subtitled "AIDS – its Nature and its Origins,' is lengthy, has a lot of professional terminology and is dotted with footnotes. AIDS FACTS "The fatal weakening of the immune system which has given AIDS its name (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome),' write the Segals, "has been traced back to a destruction or a functional failure of the T 4-lymphocytes, also called helper cells, which play a regulatory role in the production of antibodies in the immune system.' In the course of the illness, the number of functional T 4-cells is reduced greatly so that new anti-bodies cannot be produced and the defenceless patient remains exposed to a range of infections that under other circumstances would have been harmless.
Most AIDS patients die from opportunistic infections rather than from the AIDS virus itself. The initial infection is characterized by diarrhea, erysipelas and intermittent fever. An apparent recovery follows after 2-3 weeks, and in many cases the patient remains without symptoms and functions normally for years. Occasionally a swelling of the lymph glands, which does not affect the patient s well-being, can be observed. After several years, the pre-AIDS stage, known as ARC (Aids- Related Complex) sets in.
This stage includes disorders in the digestive tract, kidneys and lungs. In most cases it develops into full-blown AIDS in about a year, at which point opportunistic illnesses occur. Parallel to this syndrome, disorders in various organ systems occur, the most severe in the brain, the symptoms of which range from motori c disorders to severe dementia and death. This set of symptoms, say the Segals, is identical in every detail with the Visna sickness which occurs in sheep, mainly in Iceland. (Visna means tiredness in Icelandic). However, the visna virus is not pathogenic for human beings.
The Segals note that despite the fact that AIDS is transmitted only through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions and non- sterile hypodermic needles, the infection has spread dramatically. During the first few years after its discovery, the number of AIDS patients doubled every six months, and is still doubling every 12 months now though numerous measures have been taken against it. Based on these figures, it is estimated that in the US, which had 120, 000 cases of AIDS at the end of 1988, 900, 000 people will have AIDS or will have died of it by the end of 1991. It is also estimated that the number of people infected is at least ten times the number of those suffering from an acute case of AIDS. That in the year 1995 there will be between 10-14 million cases of AIDS and an additional 100 million people infected, 80 percent of them in the US, while a possible vaccination will not be available before 1995 by the most optimistic estimates.
Even when such vaccination becomes available, it will not help those already infected. These and following figures have been reached at by several different mainstream sources, such as the US Surgeon General and the Chief of the medical services of the US Army. "AIDS does not merely bring certain dangers with it; it is clearly a programmed catastrophe for the human race, whose magnitude is comparable only with that of a nuclear war', say the Segals. ' They later explain what they mean by "programmed,' showing that the virus was produced by humans, namely Dr. Robert Gallo of the Bethesda Cancer Research Center in Maryland.
When proceeding to prove their claims, the Segals are careful to note that: "We have given preference to the investigative results of highly renowned laboratories, whose objective contents cannot be doubted. We must emphasize, in this connection, that we do not know of any findings that have been published in professional journals that contradict our hypotheses.' DISCOVERING AIDS The first KNOWN cases of AIDS occurred in New York in 1979. The first DESCRIBED cases were in California in 1979. The virus was isolated in Paris in May 1983, taken from a French homosexual who had returned home ill from a trip to the East Coast of the US. One year later, Robert Gallo and his co-workers at the Bethesda Cancer Research Center published their discovery of the same virus, which is cytotoxic. (i.
e poisonous to cells) Shortly after publishing his discovery, Gallo stated to newspapers that the virus had developed by a natural process from the Human Adult Leukemia virus, HTLV-1, which he had previously discovered. However, this claim was not published in professional publications, and soon after, Alizon and Montagnier, two researchers of the Pasteur Institute in Paris published charts of HTLV-1 and HIV, showing that the viruses had basically different structures. They also declared categorically that they knew of no natural process by which one of these two forms could have evolved into the other. According to the professional "science' magazine, the fall 1984 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was almost entirely devoted to the question of: to what extent new pathogenic agents could be produced via human manipulation of genes. According to the Segals, AIDS was practically the sole topic of discussion. THE AIDS VIRUS The Segals discuss the findings of Gonda et al, who compared the HIV, visna and other closely-related viruses and found that the visna virus is the most similar to HIV.
The two were, in fact, 60% identical in 1986. According to findings of the Hahn group, the mutation rate of the HIV virus was about a million times higher than that of similar viruses, and that on the average a 10% alteration took place every two years. That would mean that in 1984, the difference between HIV and visna would have been only 30%, in 1982- 20%, 10% in 1980 and zero in 1978. "This means,' say the Segals, "that at this time visna viruses changed into HIV, receiving at the same time the ability to become parasites in human T 4-cells and the high genetic instability that is not known in other retroviruses.
This is also consistent with the fact that the first cases of AIDS appeared about one year later, in the spring of 1979.' "In his comparison of the genomes of visna and HIV,' add the Segals, "Coffin hit upon a remarkable feature. The env (envelope) area of the HIV genome, which encodes the envelope proteins which help the virus to attach itself to the host cell, is about 300 nucleotides longer than the same area in visna. This behaviour suggests that an additional piece has been inserted into the genomes of the visna virus, a piece that alters the envelope proteins and enables them to bind themselves to the T 4-receptors. BUT THIS SECTION BEHAVES LIKE A BIOLOGICALLY ALIEN BODY, which does not match the rest of the system biochemically.
The above mentioned work by Gonda et al shows that the HIV virus has a section of about 300 nucleotides, which does not exist in the visna virus. That length corresponds with what Coffin described. That section is particularly unstable, which indicates that it is an alien object. According to the Segals, it "originates in an HTLV-1 genome, (discovered by Gallo-ED) for the likelihood of an accidental occurrence in HIV of a genome sequence 60% identical with a section of the HTLV-1 that is 300 nucleotides in length is zero.' Since the visna virus is incapable of attaching itself to human T 4 receptors, it must have been the transfer of the HTLV-1 genome section which gave visna the capability to do so. In other words, the addition of HTLV-1 to visna made the HIV virus. In addition, the high mutation rate of the HIV genome has been explained by another scientific team, Chandra et al, by the fact that it is "a combination of two genome parts which are alien to each other BY ARTIFICIAL MEANS rather than by a natural process of evolution, because this process would have immediately eliminated, through natural selection, systems that are so replete with disorders.' "These are the facts of the case,' say the Segals.
"HIV is essentially a visna virus which carries an additional protein monomer of HTLV-1 that has an epitope capable of bonding with T 4 receptors. Neither Alizon and Montagnier nor any other biologist know of any natural mechanism that would make it possible for the epitope to be transferred from HTLV-1 to the visna virus. For this reason we can come to only one conclusion: that this gene combination arose by artificial means, through gene manipulation.' THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIV "The construction of a recombinant virus by means of gene manipulation is extraordinarily expensive, and it requires a large number of highly qualified personnel, complicated equipment and expensive high security laboratories. Moreover, the product would have no commercial value.
Who, then,' ask the Segals, "would have provided the resources for a type of research that was aimed solely at the production of a new disease that would be deadly to human beings?' The English sociologist Alistair Hay (as well as Pax man et al in "A Higher Form of Killing'-ED), published a document whose authenticity has been confirmed by the US Congress, showing that a representative of the Pentagon requested in 1969 additional funding for biological warfare research. The intention was to create, within the next ten years, a new virus that would not be susceptible to the immune system, so that the afflicted patient would not be able to develop any defense against it. Ten years later, in the spring of 1979, the first cases of AIDS appeared in New York. "Thus began a phase of frantic experimentation,' say the Segals. One group was working on trying to cause animal pathogens to adapt themselves to life in human beings.
This was done under the cover of searching for a cure for cancer. The race was won by Gallo, who described his findings in 1975. A year later, Gallo described gene manipulations he was conducting. In 1980 he published his discovery of HTLV. In the fall of 1977, a P 4 (highest security category of laboratory, in which human pathogens are subjected to genetic manipulations) laboratory was officially opened in building 550 of Fort Detrick, MD, the Pentagon s main biological warfare research center.
"In an article in Der Spiegel, Prof. Moldings point out that this type of gene manipulation was still extremely difficult in 1977. One would have had to have a genius as great as Robert Gallo for this purpose, note the Segals.' Lo and behold. In a supposed compliance with the international accord banning the research, production and storage of biological weapons, part of Fort Detrick was "demilitarized' and the virus section renamed the "Frederick Cancer Research Facility'. It was put under the direction of the Cancer Research Institute in neighbouring Bethesda, whose director was no other than Robert Gallo.
This happened in 1975, the year Gallo discovered HTLV. Explaining how the virus escaped, the Segals note that in the US, biological agents are traditionally tested on prisoners who are incarcerated for long periods, and who are promised freedom if they survive the test. However, the initial HIV infection symptoms are mild and followed by a seemingly healthy patient. "Those who conducted the research must have concluded that the new virus was… not so virulent that it could be considered for military use, and the test patients, who had seemingly recovered, were given their freedom. Most of the patients were professional criminals and New York City, which is relatively close, offered them a suitable milieu. Moreover, the patients were exclusively men, many of them having a history of homosexuality and drug abuse, as is often the case in American prisons.
It is understandable why AIDS broke out precisely in 1979, precisely among men and among drug users, and precisely in New York City,' assert the Segals. They go on to explain that whereas in cases of infection by means of sexual contact, incubation periods are two years and more, while in cases of massive infection via blood transfusions, as must have been the case with prisoners, incubation periods are shorter than a year. "Thus, if the new virus was ready at the beginning of 1978 and if the experiments began without too much delay, then the first cases of full-blown AIDS in 1979 were exactly the result that could have been expected.' In the next three lengthy chapters, the Segals examine other theories, "legends' as they call them, of the origins of AIDS. Dissecting each claim, they show that they have no scientific standing, providing also the findings of other scientists. They also bring up the arguments of scientists and popular writers who have been at the task of discounting them as "conspiracy theorists' and show these writers shortcomings. Interested readers will have to read the original article to follow those debates.
I will only quote two more paragraphs: "We often heard the argument that experiments with human volunteers are part of a barbaric past, and that they would be impossible in the US today… We wish to present one single document whose authenticity is beyond doubt. An investigative commission of the US House of Representatives presented in October 1986 a final report concerning the Manhattan Project. According to this document, between 1945 and 1975 at least 695 American citizens were exposed to dangerous doses of radioactivity. Some of them were prisoners who had volunteered, but they also included residents of old-age homes, inmates of insane asylums, handicapped people in nursing homes, and even normal patients in public hospitals; most of them were subjected to these experiments without their permission. Thus the barbaric past is not really a thing of the past.' "It is remarkable that most of these experiments were carried out in university institutes and federal hospitals, all of which are named in the report.
Nonetheless, these facts remained secret until 1984, and even then a Congressional committee that was equipped with all the necessary authorization needed two years in order to bring these facts to life. We are often asked how the work on the AIDS virus could have been kept secret. Now, experiments performed on a few dozen prisoners in a laboratory that is subject to military security can be far more easily kept secret than could be the Manhattan Project.' AIDS – What's new? — — — — — — - Is the message getting through? We already know enough about AIDS to prevent its spread, but ignorance, complacency, fear and bigotry continue to stop many from taking adequate precautions. We know enough about how the infection is transmitted to protect ourselves from it without resorting to such extremes as mandatory testing, enforced quarantine or total celibacy.
But too few people are heeding the AIDS message. Perhaps many simply don't like or want to believe what they hear, preferring to think that AIDS "can't happen to them.' Experts repeatedly remind us that infective agents do not discriminate, but can infect any and everyone. Like other communicable diseases, AIDS can strike anyone. It is not necessarily confined to a few high-risk groups. We must all protect ourselves from this infection and teach our children about it in time to take effective precautions. Given the right measures, no one need get AIDS.
The pandemic continues: — — — — — — — – Many of us have forgotten about the virulence of widespread epidemics, such as the 1917/18 influenza pandemic which killed over 21 million people, including 50, 000 Canadians. Having been lulled into false security by modern antibiotics and vaccines about our ability to conquer infections, the Western world was ill prepared to cope with the advent of AIDS in 1981. (Retro- spec tive studies now put the first reported U. S. case of AIDS as far back as 1968.
) The arrival of a new and lethal virus caught us off guard. Research suggests that the agent responsible for AIDS probably dates from the 1950 s, with a chance infection of humans by a modified Simian virus found in African green monkeys. Whatever its origins, scientists surmise that the disease spread from Africa to the Caribbean and Europe, then to the U. S. Current estimates are that 1. 5 to 2 million Americans are now probably HIV carriers, with higher numbers in Central Africa and parts of the Caribbean.
Recapping AIDS – the facts: — — — — — — — — — AIDS is an insidious, often fatal but less contagious disease than measles, chicken pox or hepatitis B. AIDS is thought to be caused primarily by a virus that invades white blood cells (lymphocytes) – especially T 4-lymphocytes or T-helper cells – and certain other body cells, including the brain. In 1983 and 1984, French and U. S. researchers independently identified the virus believed to cause AIDS as an unusual type of slow-acting retrovirus now called "human immunodeficiency virus' or HIV. Like other viruses, HIV is basically a tiny package of genes.
But being a retrovirus, it has the rare capacity to copy and insert its genes right into a human cell's own chromo- somes (DNA). Once inside a human host cell the retrovirus uses its own enzyme, reverse transcriptase, to copy its genetic code into a DNA molecule which is then incorporated into the host's DNA. The virus becomes an integral part of the person's body, and is subject to control mechanisms by which it can be switched "on' or "off'. But the viral DNA may sit hidden and inactive within human cells for years, until some trigger stimulates it to replicate. Thus HIV may not produce illness until its genes are "turned on' five, ten, fifteen or perhaps more years after the initial infection. During the latent period, HIV carriers who harbour the virus without any sign of illness can unknowingly infect others.
On average, the dormant virus seems to be triggered into action three to six years after first invading human cells. When switched on, viral replication may speed along, producing new viruses that destroy fresh lymphocytes. As viral replication spreads, the lymphocyte destruction virtually sabotages the entire immune system. In essence, HIV viruses do not kill people, they merely render the immune system defenceless against other "opportunistic: infections, e.
g. yeast invasions, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr infections, massive herpes infections, special forms of pneumonia (Pneumocystis carinii – the killer in half of all AIDS patients), and otherwise rare malignant tumours (such as Kaposi's sarcoma. ) Cofactors may play a crucial contributory role: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — – What prompts the dormant viral genes suddenly to burst into action and start destroying the immune system is one os the central unsolved challenges about AIDS. Some scientists speculate that HIV replication may be set off by cofactors or trans activators that stimulate or disturb the immune system. Such triggers may be genetically determined proteins in someone's system, or foreign substances from other infecting organisms – such as syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HTLV-1 (leukemia), herpes, or CMV (cytomegalovirus) – which somehow awaken the HIV virus.
The assumption is that once HIV replication gets going, the lymphocyte destruction cripples the entire immune system. Recent British research suggest that some people may have a serum protein that helps them resist HIV while others may have one that makes them genetically more prone to it by facilitating viral penetration of T-helper cells. Perhaps, says one expert, everybody exposed to HIV can become infected, but whether or not the infection progresses to illness depends on multiple immunogenic factors. Some may be lucky enough to have genes that protect them form AIDS! Variable period until those infected develop antibodies: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — – While HIV hides within human cells, the body may produce antibodies, but, for reasons not fully understood, they don't neutralise all the viruses.
The presence of HIV antibodies thus does not confer immunity to AIDS, nor prevent HIV transmission. Carriers may be able to infect others. The usual time taken to test positive for HIV antibodies after exposure averages from four to six weeks but can take over a year. Most experts agree that within six months all but 10 per cent of HIV-infected people "seroconvert' and have detectable antibodies.
While HIV antibody tests can indicate infection, they are not foolproof. The ELISA is a good screening test that gives a few "false positives' and more "false negatives' indicating that someone who is infected has not yet developed identifiable antibodies. ) The more specific Western Blot test, done to confirm a positive ELISA, is very accurate. However, absence of antibodies doesn't guarantee freedom form HIV, as someone may be in the "window period' when, although already infected, they do not yet have measurable levels of HIV antibodies.
A seropositive result does not mean someone has AIDS; it means (s) he is carrying antibodies, may be infectious and may develop AIDS at some future time. As to how long seropositive persons remain infectious, the June 1987 Third International Conference on AIDS was told to assume "FOR LIFE'. What awaits HIV-carriers who test positive? : — — — — — — — — — — — — — — – On this issue of when those who test HIV positive will get AIDS, experts think that the fast track to AIDS is about two years after HIV infection; the slow route may be 10, 15, or more years until symptoms appear. Most specialists agree that it takes at least two years to show AIDS symptoms after HIV infection, and that within ten years as many as 75 per cent of those infected may develop AIDS. A report from Atlanta's CDC based on an analysis of blood collected in San Francisco from 1978 to 1986, showed a steady increase with time in the rate of AIDS development among HIV-infected persons – 4 percent within three years; 14 percent after five years; 36 percent after seven years. The realistic, albeit doomsday view is that 100 percent of those who test HIV-positive may eventually develop AIDS.
Still spread primarily by sexual contact: — — — — — — — — — — — — — – AIDS is still predominantly a sexually transmitted disease: The other main route of HIV infection is via contaminated blood and shared IV needles. Since the concentration of virus is highest in semen and blood, the most common transmission route is from man to man via anal intercourse, or man to woman via vaginal intercourse. Female HIV carriers can infect male sex partners. Small amounts of HIV have been isolated from urine, tears, saliva, cere b- ro spinal and amniotic fluid and (some claim) breast milk. But current evidence implicates only semen, blood, vaginal secretions and possibly breast milk in transmission. Pregnant mothers can pass the infection to their babies.
While breastfeeding is a rare and unproven transmission route, health officials suggest that seropositive mothers bottle feed their offspring. AIDS is not confined to male homosexuals and the high risk groups: There are now reports of heterosexual transmission – form IV drug users, he mo- ph iliacs or those infected by blood transfusion to sexual partners. There are a few reported cases of AIDS heterosexually acquired from a single sexual encounter with a new, unknown mate. And there are three recent reports of female-to-female (lesbian) transmissions. Spread of AIDS among drug users alarming: — — — — — — — — — — — — — – In many cities, e. g.
New York and Edinburgh, where IV drug use is wide- spread, IV drug users often share blood-contaminated needles. In New York, more than 53 percent of drug users are HIV-infected and may transmit the infection to the heterosexual population by sexual contact and transmission from mother to child. Studies in Edinburgh, where 51 percent of drug users are HIV-infected, show that providing clean needles isn't enough to stem infection. Even given free disposable needles, many drug abusers preferred the camaraderie of shared equipment.
Only with added teaching programs and free condom offers, are educational efforts likely to pay off. In New Jersey, offering free treatment coupons plus AIDS education brought 86 percent of local drug users to classes. A San Francisco program issued pocket-size containers of chlorine bleach to IVD As with instructions on how to kill HIV viruses. The Toronto Addiction Research Foundation notes a similar demand for AIDS information. Risk of infection via blood transfusion very slight: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — - Infection by blood transfusion is very rare in Canada today. As of November 1985, the Red Cross, which supplies all blood and blood products to Canadian hospitals, had routinely tested all blood donations for the HIV antibody.
In 1986, when we last discussed AIDS, the Red Cross reported the incidence of HIV-positive blood samples as 25 in 100, 000. Now, at the start of 1988, only 10 per 100, 000 blood samples are found to be infected – which, of course, are discarded. Only a tiny fraction of HIV-positive blood (from HIV-infected people who haven't yet developed detectable antibodies) can now slip through the Red Cross screening procedure. The minimal risk is further decreased by screening methods, medical history-taking, questionnaires and donor inter- views. Very few people at risk of AIDS now come to give blood. The "self- elimination form', filled out in a private booth, allows any who feel compelled by peer pressure to donate blood, total privacy to check the box that says "Do not use my blood for transfusion.' As to banking one's own blood, or autologous donations, the Red Cross permits a few "medically suitable' people, referred by their physician, to store their blood if they are likely to need blood transfusion in upcoming elective surgery.
They can bank up to four units of blood, taken in the five weeks before surgery. Finally – it can be categorically stated – IT IS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE TO GET AIDS BY GIVING BLOOD! ! ! Minimal risk to health care workers: — — — — — — — — — — — — While health care personnel face a slight risk of HIV infection, all cases reported to date have been due to potentially avoidable mishaps or failure to follow recommended precautions. Of thousands caring for AIDS patients worldwide, only a tiny percentage has become infected, and so far no Canadian health personnel have become HIV-infected. A survey done by the Federal Centre for AIDS (FCA) of 50 workers occupationally exposed to AIDS showed that none became infected. A british hospital study on staff looking after 400 AIDS patients over several years found none who became HIV-positive.
In one U. S. survey, 7 out of 2, 500 health care workers sero converted and developed HIV antibodies all by potentially avoidable accidents such as needle pricks, exposure to large amounts of blood, body fluids spattered into unprotected mouth, eyes or open sores. The reported mishaps underscore the need for rigorous, vigilant compliance with preventive guidelines. Universal body substance precautions (BSP) urged: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — - The newest guidelines suggest that every health care worker, including dentists, should handle all blood and body fluids as if infectious. Testing all patients for HIV is not practical and does not confer protection.
Rely- ing on tests that are not 100 per cent accurate would only induce a false sense of security. Rather than trying to identify infected persons, the CDC and Ottawa's FCA now promote a philosophy that regards all patients as potentially infected. (At Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, about six percent of admissions to the Traumatic Emergency Unit recently tested HIV-positive. ) Hospital and health care workers (including those caring for patients at home) are encouraged to "think AIDS' and protect themselves.
All patients should be handled in a way that minimizes exposure to blood and body fluids, e. g. by always wearing gloves when touching open sores, mucous membranes, taking blood, attending emergencies, putting in IV needles, touching blood- soiled items, with scrupulous hand-washing between patients (and whenever gloves are removed), wearing masks, eye protection, plastic aprons and gowns when appropriate. Taking such precautions will not only protect against AIDS but also against more infectious agents such as hepatitis B and some hospital acquired infections. We are all being forced to remember stringent anti- infection rules! Absolutely no evidence of spread by casual contact: — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — All the research to date points to the fact that AIDS is not very easy to catch.
One University of Toronto microbiologist speculates that thos.