Inaccuracies and Errors in Press Statements

Inaccuracies and errors in press statements released by doctors Stanley Plotkin and Hilary Koprowski at the Royal Society meeting on “The Origins of HIV and the AIDS Epidemic”, on September 11, 2000

Edward Hooper. December 5, 2000.
Slightly updated and revised on June 14, 2001.

Like many other speakers at the Royal Society conference on “The Origins of HIV and the AIDS Epidemic” (myself included) doctors Plotkin and Koprowski later revised their oral presentations for the published proceedings, which are about to appear as Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, B; 2001; Volume 356, pp. 778-977.

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New York Times Letter (2)

To the Editor:

The Doctor’s World column on AIDS origins makes valid points in the argument that Edward Hooper’s theory of vaccine contamination should be explored further. Those scientists who feel the legitimization of Hooper’s theory would tarnish public confidence in the safety of vaccines are not only shortsighted, but naïve.

Anyone who has followed the AIDS epidemic has pondered either in public or private numerous rumors and theories, from tainted vaccines to government conspiracies. With no cure in sight, more research into the origins of this epidemic not only has the potential to win tangible scientific results but also the trust of millions who often feel they are only receiving information that has been deemed palatable to the public.


New York Times Letter (1)

Challenging a Theory
To the Editor:

The Doctor’s World column “New Book Challenges Theories of AIDS Origin” on Nov. 30 describes the hypothesis that H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, was initially transmitted to humans during the first large-scale trials of oral polio vaccine in what was then the Belgian Congo. Although we are not named in the article, it is common knowledge in the scientific community that we conducted those trials. The hypothesis is based on the suggestion in a recently published book that we used chimpanzee cells to prepare the vaccine, and that these cells were, unknown to us, contaminated with a precursor of the human AIDS virus.

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Letters to Nature

Edward Hooper’s unpublished letter to the editor of Nature in response to John Moore’s review (Nature, 23 September 1999)

September 27, 1999.

Dear Mr Campbell,

I read with great interest John Moore’s review of my book, The River. Might I point out that it contained a number of errors? I would appreciate the opportunity to correct these in your pages.

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