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A new twist on the theory that vaccines may have triggered the AIDS pandemic is advanced in the May 2001 issue of the scientific journal Medical Hypotheses by an independent investigator and author of a best-selling book on the subject.

The report, by Dr. Leonard Horowitz, explains for the first time the link between the human AIDS virus, HIV and the chimpanzee immunodeficiency virus. The new theory proposes that HIV/AIDS was triggered by hepatitis B (HB) vaccines, partly developed in chimpanzees, then given to homosexual men in New York City and blacks in central Africa during the early to mid-1970s — some of whom had received suspect polio vaccines a decade earlier.

Horowitz, who holds a post-doctoral degree in public health from Harvard University, presented his preliminary findings at the XI International Conference on AIDS in Vancouver in 1996. Last November, his controversial thesis attracted a standing room only audience in Boston at the annual American Public Health Association conference. The subject of a recent BBC documentary, his publication in Medical Hypotheses underlies widespread suspicions, especially among minority populations, that HIV/AIDS was vaccine induced.

Based on a three-year study of the pandemic’s origin relayed in his American bestseller, “Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola — Nature, Accident or Intentional?” Dr. Horowitz determined that risky pilot HB vaccine trials involved growing hepatitis viruses in chimpanzees commonly known to be contaminated with retroviruses related to HIV. These findings scientifically explain for the first time how the chimpanzee AIDS virus (SIVcpz), closely related to HIV’s gene sequence, suddenly jumped species to humans simultaneously on two far-removed continents.

Four lots of HB vaccine containing 200,000 human doses, believed to be contaminated with gene sequences common to HIV/SIVcpz, were prepared by passing live HB viruses, grown in chimpanzees, to polio vaccine recipients previously exposed to monkey cancer viruses already suspected of playing a role in initiating AIDS. The final preparations were injected into homosexuals in New York City and blacks in Central Africa between 1974 and 1975. According to several investigators, this may best explain how and why there was a sudden simultaneous outbreak of at least four major HIV strains, on two far-removed continents, in two demographically distinct populations, in the late 1970s, corresponding to the only complete virus discoveries.

These disclosures come at a time of heightened concern regarding the risks posed by HIV/AIDS to minority groups and U.S. national security.

“HIV certainly has links to sub-human African primates,” Horowitz explained. “What was done to these monkeys and chimpanzees during viral vaccine experiments should come under closer scientific scrutiny.”

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