Hooper’s Unpublished Response to Amazon Review

The author’s response to customer’s comment on The River by Dr Claude Koprowski

(Reply concerning The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS) Submitted to Amazon.com, early November 1999 (not published)

While Dr Claude Koprowski’s vigorous defence of his father, Dr Hilary Koprowski, is understandable, it is – unfortunately – littered with error and false assumptions. Continue reading “Hooper’s Unpublished Response to Amazon Review”

Tracking AIDS’ Origin

Author blames polio vaccine tests for scourge

[Article about The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS] New York Daily News, Friday 29 October 1999

For more than a decade now, Edward Hooper, a former British reporter for the BBC in Africa, has been crisscrossing the world doggedly pursuing clues to the most frightening human mystery of our age – the cause of HIV/AIDS.

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Experts Shun Book Linking AIDS To Vaccine Administered in the 50s

Copyright 1999 Nation Newspapers Ltd. The East African

Nairobi – A controversial new book which claims that the origins of Aids could lie in a polio vaccine programme in East and Central Africa during the late 1950s has been shunned and condemned by the scientific and medical community.

Former BBC Africa correspondent Edward Hooper’s book, The River, which was recently published by Penguin Press, says that the vaccine used in the CHAT experimental vaccine programme, which was carried out in the then Belgian colonies of Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi) and the Democratic Republic of Congo, could have accidentally been contaminated by a monkey virus containing the HIV virus’s closest “relative” – the simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV. Continue reading “Experts Shun Book Linking AIDS To Vaccine Administered in the 50s”

Amazon Review

Character Assassination by Supposition

Review of The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Reviewer: Claude Koprowski, M.D. from Oxford, Maryland

amazon.com October 12, 1999

There is little new of consequence here other than the author’s character assassination by supposition. Although superficially The River looks like a well researched and documented work, in reality the conclusions Edward Hooper reaches are based on his own prejudices and pseudo logic but not fact.As one other reviewer noted, it is “up the river without a paddle.”

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This Little Boy is Dying of AIDS… …Did Western Medicine Give it to Him?

Copyright 1999 Times Newspapers Limited  
The Times (London)

The origin of Aids remains a mystery. A new book claims that its roots may lie in a polio vaccine given to Africans in the 1950s, says Jessica Davies

A vial of vaccine locked in freezer number 178 and located in room 369 of the Wistar Institute, a biomedical research establishment in Philadelphia, may contain the answer to one of medicine’s greatest enigmas: how Aids, one of the most lethal and infectious medical conditions that the world has known, was first unleashed on mankind.
Continue reading “This Little Boy is Dying of AIDS… …Did Western Medicine Give it to Him?”

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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Course of a Killer Virus

Copyright 1999 South China Morning Post Ltd.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

For those under the age of about 35, it would be hard to remember a time before Aids. Since the virus was first noted among Los Angeles gays at the start of the 1980s, we have learned to live under the shadow of a deadly menace that has infected about one per cent of the world’s population. Yet there was a time before Aids. As scientists race to develop cures or vaccines that could stem the disease, the question of when and where Aids started, or more to the point, how it started, is largely overlooked.
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A Controversial HIV/AIDS Hypothesis

Review of The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS

Edward Hooper. Harmondsworth: Allen Lane The Penguin Press. Boston: Little, Brown. 1999. Pp 1070. £25, US$35. ISBN 0-713-99335-9.

Lancet, September 25, 1999; Volume 354, Number 9184

Edward Hooper’s river–at 1000 pages, more Amazon or Congo than Thames–is the AIDS epidemic in full flood, but what interests him is the trickle with which it all began. What also interests both him and the Oxford evolutionary biologist W D Hamilton, who writes the enthusiastic foreword to this provocative book, is what lessons might be drawn if the origin of HIV/AIDS is indeed an instance of medicine gone wrong. The hypothesis, which in part at least is testable, is that one type of oral poliovaccine developed in the 1950s involved culture in kidney cells of chimpanzees. The chimpanzee simian immunodeficiency virus is the non-human one most closely related to HIV-1 and, the argument runs, it was via the vaccination campaigns in Africa in the late 1950s (and possibly elsewhere) that SIV reached man. After that came mutation to HIV and spread to eventual epidemicity via several routes, one possibility being Haitian technicians returning home after assisting the newly independent Congo republic. An iatrogenic disaster in other words, “bidding to prove itself more expensive in lives than all the human attritions put in motion by Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot” (Hamilton).

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