The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS by Edward HooperWhile science has devoted much of its efforts to finding a cure for AIDS, the sources of this deadly epidemic remain largely unexamined. Distinguished science journalist Edward Hooper presents the meticulously researched -- and highly readable -- history of HIV and its possible origins. Pursuing leads across the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and Africa, Hooper pieces together the tantalizing clues offered by long-archived blood samples, early AIDS-like cases (such as the Manchester sailor case of 1959), immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs), and the medical interventions in Africa and elsewhere that may have played a role in SIVs crossover into humans.Hooper examines over two dozen theories of origin, and eventually discards most of them. What remains is a remarkable and well-supported theory for the sudden appearance of AIDS, and the definitive story of its lethal spread. Drawing on more than 4,000 sources and 600 interviews, The River is a thorough and provocative investigation into the most terrible epidemic of the twentieth century.
AIDS Didn't Come From a Polio Vaccine
In his laboratory in Pearl River, N. Hilary Koprowski macerated the ingredients in an ordinary kitchen blender one January day in He poured the result — thick, cold, gray and greasy — into a beaker, lifted it to his lips and drank. It tasted, he later said, like cod liver oil. With that sip, Dr. Koprowski, a virologist who died on April 11 at 96, inoculated himself against polio, years before the vaccines of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin.
He authored or co-authored over scientific papers and co-edited several scientific journals. Koprowski was the target of accusations in the press in the " OPV AIDS hypothesis ", an allegation long refuted by evidence showing that the HIV-1 virus was introduced to humans long before his polio-vaccine trials were conducted in Africa. Hilary Koprowski was born in Warsaw to an educated Jewish family. He received a medical degree from Warsaw University in He also received music degrees from the Warsaw Conservatory and, in , from the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome. He adopted scientific research as his life's work, but never gave up music and composed several musical works. In July , while in medical school, Koprowski married Irena Grasberg.
One of these vaccines, developed by Hilary Koprowski, MD (), was used Dr. Koprowski's pioneering work in developing polio vaccines has helped .
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It was a brew to rival any in ''Macbeth. In his laboratory in Pearl River, N.
Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April at the age of I did not have many opportunities to interact with Dr. Koprowski, but I did follow his work on poliovirus vaccines and I have a few reminiscences. Koprowski tested the candidate vaccine strain in humans, and ultimately produced two other attenuated poliovirus strains. By the s these attenuated poliovirus vaccine candidates had been tested in millions of humans. However, they were never licensed for use in the US. While Koprowski was carrying out his work, Albert Sabin was also developed attenuated vaccine strains of poliovirus.
AIDS jumped from monkeys to humans through polio vaccines tested in Africa during the mid-twentieth century, say several commenters on today's post about the Haitian origin of an HIV strain that later spread to the United States and then the world. The controversial theory first gained prominence in Edward Hooper's The River. He chronicled the development of an oral polio vaccine by Polish immunologist Hilary Koprowski, who between and tested the vaccine in nearly one million people in Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Koprowski's concoction, alleged Hooper, was cultured in tissue taken from chimpanzees infected with a virus similar to HIV; early reports of a disease that might have been AIDS occurred at the trial sites. However, studies have failed to find evidence of AIDS in millions of other people who received these vaccines. Samples of the vaccine have tested negative for HIV. The HIV strain identified in those early African cases is now classified as belonging to group M; the strain that came from Haiti to the United States during the late 's, and later became the most common strain in the world, is known as subtype B.
The most detailed investigation of the origins of the AIDS epidemic yet conducted has concluded that the most likely route by which HIV entered the human population was via early trials of polio vaccines in Africa. Science journalist Edward Hooper says he has spent ten years investigating the origins of the epidemic, and has spoken to more than researchers and clinicians involved in the s polio vaccine studies and in the care of the earliest AIDS patients in Africa, North America and Europe. He now believes that the most likely explanation for the cross-over of HIV from monkeys to humans was the contamination of an experimental oral polio vaccine called CHAT, developed during the s by Dr Hilary Koprowski at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. The vaccine may have been grown in chimpanzee kidney cells, and Hooper believes that SIVcpz, the primate immunodeficiency virus closest to HIV, was able to contaminate some lots of the vaccine. He supports his argument by an extremely detailed investigation of the origins of monkey tissue used in vaccine production at the time, and a correlation of the towns and districts in which vaccination was carried out with the emergence of AIDS in the late s and early s. He also debunks many of the cases described as early AIDS cases from the s, 50s and 60s, to show convincingly that HIV first began to infect humans and cause illness in the s in the Congo and Central Africa.