The Archer report on Haemophiliacs allegedly infected with HIV (available here), as expected, completely misses the point. It clings to the notion that haemophiliacs actually were infected with HIV, and were not being made ill by the staggeringly impure Factor VIII itself before AZT came out, and were then slaughtered almost wholesale when given AZT in doses that now nobody disputes to be cumulatively lethal. In response, HEAL London, The Immunity Resource Foundation and Alex Verney-Elliot have responded to it with the following letter:
AN URGENT RESPONSE TO: THE ARCHER ENQUIRY
On NHS Supplied Contaminated Blood and Blood Products
27th February 2009
To The Secretary of State for Health: The Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP,
Department of Health,
London SW1A 2NS
Dear Alan Johnson,We the undersigned would like to challenge The Archer Report which omitted vital evidence regarding ‘HIV', Factor VIII and haemophilia.
The case of haemophiliacs, far from proving the existence of a transmissible retrovirus ‘HIV') which is alleged to have contaminated their clotting factor, proves conclusively, in fact, quite the reverse: HIV is not - and cannot be - the cause of AIDS. ‘HIV' was never in the Factor VIII to begin with since ‘HIV' could not possibly survive the manufacturing process, including cryoprecipitation, required to produce the freeze-dried dry powder which is Factor VIII.
Why did haemophiliacs start to die in appreciable numbers only after HIV was "discovered" in 1983? Surely if this alleged retrovirus was the cause of AIDS‚ we would have noticed their premature deaths before 1983: and why didn't haemophiliacs die from KS (Kaposi's sarcoma) and PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia), the two original ‘AIDS' defining diseases?
Gallo tried to make the case that ‘AIDS' was caused by a transmissible agent and cited cases of haemophiliacs whom it was assumed were infected via the clotting Factor VIII. This assumption was based on two premises that subsequently proved to be totally false: a) the amount of putative virus in a plasma donor/seller's blood and b) that the virus would survive the manufacture of Factor VIII from the pooled plasma.
Uncritical scientists and medics accepted this supposition. It soon became apparent, however, that the supposition was wrong. First, it was assumed that plasma donors/sellers were infected with ‘HIV'‚ and carrying titres of cell-free infectious virus particles that resulted in the contamination of the pooled plasma used in the manufacturer of Factor VIII. Sometimes, these pools were as large as 30,000 donations of 600 millilitres (ml) of plasma. It was suggested that there was sufficient cell-free ‘HIV' in some of the donors to contaminate the whole batch. This supposed a massive titre of millions, if not billions, of viral particles in the infected donors. This was subsequently proved to be wrong. In the nearly 200,000 published scientific papers on HIV/AIDS, not one claims to have found a titre of more than 10 infectious particles per cubic ml of blood/plasma. There is no way that these negligible amounts of ‘HIV', even if proven to exist, could have contaminated so much Factor VIII that virtually all the haemophiliacs could be deemed infected with ‘HIV'. As Prof. Peter Duesberg rightly pointed out, the average amount of virus‚ claimed to be present in the plasma or blood of an ‘HIV-infected' individual, stands at between 1 and 1.7 infectious viral particles per cubic ml, which is absolutely negligible. Thus, paucity of virus rules out the suggestion that the putative ‘HIV' was transmitted to so many haemophiliacs in a comparatively short space of time.
Studies subsequent to 1985 showed that ‘HIV' cannot survive long outside the host's body. This is confirmed by studies showing that spilled ‘HIV'‚ positive blood samples or spoiled laboratory cultures resulted in the quick death of the alleged ‘retrovirus.' It was further discovered, and admitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that dried ‘HIV' does not survive. Therefore, Factor VIII that is subjected to cryoprecipitation (freeze drying) could not possibly contain viable, cell-free, infectious ‘HIV', even if there had been any putative ‘retrovirus' in the mix to begin with, which is extremely unlikely for reasons described above.
It was the 99 percent impurities in Factor VIII that caused the immune suppression (‘AIDS') seen in haemophiliacs. Hence, the early discovery that seroconversion in haemophiliacs seems to depend on the amount and duration of consumption - it is age and dose-related. They were dependent on a product that would eventually kill them. Also, as Prof. Peter Duesberg cynically observed, "Even haemophiliacs are not immortal."
The introduction of AZT - administered in enormous doses - rapidly killed many haemophiliacs. Their premature deaths exactly coincided with the fast tracking of AZT to haemophiliacs on 'compassionate' grounds in 1986-7.
The Archer Enquiry stated: "We heard evidence from Mrs Sue Threakall, who told us: "We will only be able to move on and truly live our lives when we know the truth has come out and everything possible has been done to address this catastrophe". Yet The Archer Enquiry did not mention that Sue Threakall claimed that her husband Bob died from AZT (Retrovir) poisoning and not his hypothetical ‘HIV' infection.
The study by Sarah Darby et al (Nature,1995) merely confirms that patients died from AZT poisoning and not from the putative ‘HIV'. Darby et al showed that the mortality of ‘HIV- positive' haemophiliac was greatly increased after the introduction of AZT in 1986.
Since about half of Darby's 2,037 severe haemophiliacs were already ‘HIV-positive' by this time, surely ‘HIV-caused mortality' should have exerted a detectable influence prior to 1985 in this group.
In January 1994, the CDC communicated the following experimental data and conclusion: "In order to obtain data on the survival of HIV [in Factor V111 clotting factor], laboratory studies have required the use of artificially high concentrations of laboratory grown virus ... the amount of virus studied is not found in human specimens or any place else in nature ... it does not spread or maintain infectiousness outside its host. Although these unnatural concentrations of putative ‘HIV' can be kept alive under precisely controlled and limited laboratory conditions, CDC studies have shown that the drying of even these high concentrations of ‘HIV' reduces the number of infectious viruses by 90 to 99 percent within several hours. Since the ‘HIV concentrations' used in laboratory studies are much higher than those actually found in blood or other body specimens, the drying of ‘HIV-infected' human blood or other body fluids reduces the theoretical risk of environmental transmission to that which has been observed - essentially zero." (Our emphasis.)
P. H. Levine has pointed to immuno-suppression (‘AIDS') actually being caused by Factor VIII: "To understand the occurrence of AIDS in haemophilia, it is important to recognize that each vial of factor VIII concentrate will contain, depending on manufacturer and lot number, a distillate of clotting factors, alloantigenic proteins, and infectious agents obtained from between 2500 and 25,000 blood or plasma donors. Until recently, of all the protein injected in ‘factor VIII preparations', factor VIII accounted for only about 0.03-0.05% of the total. The rest included: albumin, fibrin(ogen), immunoglobulins and immune complexes (Eyster & Nau, 1978; Mannucci et al., 1992). Even the recent "high-purity" factor VIII contains "potentially harming proteins" such as isoagglutinins, fibrin(ogen), split products, immunoglobulins and, when monoclonal antibodies are used for factor VIII preparation, murine proteins in addition to albumin (Beeser, 1991)."
We would like to conclude with science journalist Christine Johnson's critical observations: "No one has actually seen HIV in blood plasma. Its presence is inferred from the results of indirect and non-specific techniques applied to virus cultures."
It is widely accepted that the surface of ‘HIV' must be studded with knobs containing the protein gp120, which is crucial to the virus's ability to infect cells. But experts such as Hans Gelderblom of the Koch Institute in Berlin, who has conducted most of the electron micrograph studies of HIV, say that the virus loses its knobs when it buds from the cell. This means that cell-free virus is incapable of infecting other cells. Since plasma does not contain cells, if ‘HIV' were present, it would not be inside a cell and thus it would not be capable of causing an infection.
In addition, there is the dilution factor. Factor VIII concentrate is made from the blood of thousands of donors pooled together. Statistically, only one or two of these donors might be infected, so by the time their blood is merged with that of uninfected donors, only a few copies of HIV, or even none whatsoever, would be present per millilitre. (See "Bad Blood or Bad Science: Are haemophiliacs with AIDS diagnoses really infected with HIV?" by Christine Johnson in Continuum magazine, Volume 5, No. 4.)
In conclusion, the hypothetical ‘HIV' is not even necessary for the development of ‘AIDS' in patients with haemophilia.
We would like to end with some critical comments made by biophysicist Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and colleagues:
* Even the CDC accepts that a positive test in haemophiliacs is not proof of HIV infection. "It is possible that antibody to LAV [=HIV] is acquired passively from immunoglobulins found in factor VIII concentrates.... Likewise, it is possible that seropositivity is caused not by infectious virus but by immunization with non-infectious LAV or LAV proteins derived from virus disrupted during the processing of plasma into Factor VIII concentrate." (Evatt, 1985.)
* Levy and his colleagues have shown that the titre of HIV in plasma of HIV-infected individuals three, six or twelve hours after phlebotomy [blood donation] "dropped from up to 500 TCID/ml to 0." [TCID = tissue culture infectious dose.]
Since in most instances, if not all, the time between phlebotomy and conversion of pooled plasma to Factor VIII concentrate is considerably greater than three hours, Factor VIII is made from plasma which is cell free and, since the late 1970s, Factor VIII has been supplied as a dry powder, which may spend weeks or months awaiting use, how can one reconcile the above facts with the view that haemophiliacs are infected with HIV via contaminated Factor VIII concentrates? (Papadopulos, 1995b.)
We ask for an urgent reappraisal of the HIV/Haemophilia hypothesis and a call for Haemophiliacs to be compensated for AZT induced death and not for hypothetical ‘HIV' infection.
We look forward to a considered response.
Sarah C. Darby et al, Mortality before and after HIV infection in the complete UK population of haemophiliacs., Nature 377, 79-82. 7 September 1995.
Levine, P. H., The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in persons with haemophilia., Ann. Int. Med. 103:723-726, 1985.
The Rt Hon The Lord Archer of Sandwell
The Haemophilia Society
Respect MP George Galloway
Alexander Verney-Elliott, MA
Joan Shenton, The Immunity Resource Foundation (IRF)
Mike Hersee, HEAL London
London, 27th February 2009