Gary Null, the popular Pacifica Network talk show host, is a consumer advocate, investigative reporter, environmentalist and nutrition educator who has written more than 60 books on health topics. He says that, "You must be empowered before you can be whole," and he empowers his listeners with life-changing facts that promote wellness.
Mr. Null has conducted over a hundred major investigations and has produced numerous documentaries in which he encourages his viewers to take charge of their lives and health. Among his dozens of videos are titles like "The Pain, Profit and Politics of AIDS," "Chronic Fatigue," "Diet for a Lifetime," and "Cancer: A Natural Approach."
Gary Null lives the active, healthful life that he advocates. He regularly competes in races and marathons and has trained thousands of people in his "Natural Living Walking and Running Club" to do the same.
AIDS threatens the existence of human life in Africa moreso than on any other continent. Mr. Null has long held positions that are at odds with what may be called the AIDS establishment. The article below is from his Web site which contains much health information, and it is reprinted with his permission.
AIDS DISSIDENTS SPEAK OUT
by Gary Null
In 1984, two new acronyms were indelibly printed on everybodyís minds after the world was told that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was responsible for the Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The belief has remained prevalent up until today with more than 100,000 scientific researchers investigating HIV for the last 15 years and publishing over 200,000 articles in science and medical journals on its relationship to AIDS. The media has kept us updated us on their latest findings, while doctors and educators have continually warned us that our very lives may depend upon "safe sex", since the transmission of this infectious virus is certain to cause AIDS.
What most of us fail to realize is that not everyone accepts the mainstream point of view. A growing number of critics, including leading virologists and Nobel Prize winning scientists, doctors, journalists, and other academicians, question HIVís relationship to the diseases we term AIDS. Some argue that HIV has never been isolated; therefore, we have no proof of its existence. Others believe that HIV does exist, but that it canít possibly be doing everything that it is purported to do as it is merely one of 3,000 retroviruses, none of which have ever been proven harmful. What these dissenters have in common is a belief in the need to re-evaluate the HIV = AIDS hypothesis
Some virologists now claim that the microbe accused of causing AIDS has never been isolated and cultured. In other words, it has never been shown to exist. Recent reports from an Australian scientific team, E. Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al have brought this idea to light. In a recent journal Papadopulos reports, "...all the evidence comes from electron micrographs of whole cell cultures, not density gradients. From this evidence, it can be said that cell cultures [contain] a large variety of particles, some of which are claimed to look like retroviral particles. Thatís all. None of the particle data has been taken further--no purification, no analysis, and no proof of replication. In these cultures, several research groups, including Hans Gelderblom and his associates from the Koch Institute in Berlin who specializes in this area, have reported not just one type of particle but a stunning array of particles.
"This raises several questions. If one of these particles really is a retrovirus experts call HIV, what are all the others? If the HIV particles originate from the tissues of AIDS patients, where do all the others come from? Which of these particles band at 1.16 gm/ml? If the HIV particles cause AIDS, why doesnít one or several of the other particles also cause AIDS? Or why doesnít AIDS or the cultures cause the appearance of the particles? And when it comes to HIV, the HIV experts canít even agree what is the HIV particle. There are three subfamilies of retrovirus and HIV has been classified by different research groups under two of these subfamilies as well as three different species." 2
In his own work, German virologist Stefan Lanka has reached the same conclusion: "A virus is an easily definable entity. Itís the very stable product of cells...easy to isolate. To characterize a virus, you have to photograph the isolated particle; then you destroy the virus, characterize the proteins of the virus, and photograph the protein. And you do the same with the genetic material of the virus....This has never ever been done with HIV." 3
Science journalist Neville Hodgkinson, author of AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science: How a Virus that Never was Deceived the World (London, Fourth Estate, 1996), is convinced of the evidence supporting this viewpoint as well: "[Scientists] have not proven that they have actually detected a unique exogenous retrovirus. The critical data to support that idea have not been presented. You have to be absolutely certain that what you have detected is unique and exogenous, and a single molecular species. They havenít got conclusively to that first step. Just to see particles in the tissue, and fail to look for evidence that it is an ineffective virus, is wrong. Are these the particles that cause disease? The proper controls have never been done. There is no evidence, ten years on, that the particles are a new infectious virus." 4
If HIV is not a virus, then what is it that scientists have been studying all these years? Apparently, what we have been calling HIV is nothing more than a collection of cellular particles, say these pathologists. Hodgkinson reports that "Most analyses of so-called ĎHIVí genetic material are based on small segments of the purported virus genome...typically covering between 2 percent and 30 percent of it, since the longer sequences are so rarely found. There is not even any fixed pattern to the composition of these segments--they vary 40 percent or more. No two identical HIVís have been found, even from the same individual. In other words, there is no evidence for the presence of any unique molecular entity like a virus."5 Dr. Lanka adds: "What they are showing to us is the particle in the cells, not the virus particles. We see a huge variety of particles in all cells and tissues. They are designed for export/import. And they are not stable like a virus. Therefore, they cannot be isolated. A virus has to be very stable to leave the cell of the tissues and enter the bloodstream and visa versa. Because a virus is stable it can easily be isolated. This has never been achieved in HIV."
"If you carefully check, youíll see that the particles always look different. They have different sizes and shapes. And if you read what is written beyond the pictures--not in the lay press, like the New York Times when they say this is the HIV virus, but in the scientific literature--they never would claim this is an isolated virus. They say represent particles produced in the cells." 6
Papadopulos-Eleopulos says that since HIV differs in appearance from other retroviruses it cannot function as one: "Gallo and all other retrovirologists, as well as Hans Gelderblom who has done most of the electron microscopy studies of HIV, agree that retrovirus particles are almost spherical in shape, have a diameter of 100-120 nanometers and are covered with knobs. The particles the two groups claim are HIV are not spherical, [there are] no diameters exceeding twice that permitted for a retrovirus. And none of them appear to have knobs....
"All AIDS experts agree that the knobs are absolutely essential for the HIV particle to lock on to a cell as the first step in infecting that cell. So, no locking on, no infection. The experts all claim that the knobs contain a [glyco]protein called gp 120 which is the hook in the knobs that grabs hold of the surface of the cell itís about to infect. If HIV particles do not have knobs, how is HIV able to replicate?....And if it canít replicate, HIV is not an infectious particle.
"The knobs problem is not something new. [A] German group drew attention to it in the 1980's and again in 1992. As soon as an HIV particle is released from a cell all the knobs disappear. This single fact has many ramifications. For example, three quarters of all haemophiliacs tested are HIV-antibody-positive. The claim is that haemophiliacs acquired this as a result of becoming HIV-infected from infusions of contaminated factor VIII, which they need to treat their clotting deficiency. The problem is that factor VIII is made from plasma. Thatís blood with all the cells removed, which means [that] if there are any HIV particles present in factor VIII they must be floating free in solution. But if cell-free HIV has no knobs those HIVs have no way of getting into fresh cells to infect them." 7
Dr. Lanka believes that the discovery of reverse transcription is not proof of a new class of viruses called retroviruses. Actually, this phenomenon, which reverses the flow of genetic material, is commonly seen in cancer and embryonic cells. It is also a process of normal DNA repair. "They are using markers, very different biochemical molecules," Lanka states, "saying that if we can detect them, if we can quantify them, this is proof that the virus must be there. But everything they are measuring, quantifying, characterizing, and presenting as part of HIV are of human cellular origin."
Lanka explains that researchers in the Ď60's and Ď70's detected this then unfamiliar biochemical activity while studying cancer cells in test tubes and jumped to untrue conclusions: "Some scientists...were led to believe that since a certain biochemical function, reverse transcription, with its then unfamiliar mode of action, did not fit the dominant world picture of genetics, it would be explained only through the claim of the existence of a new class of viruses, the retroviruses. The shock of reverse transcription was that it is possible to make genetic substance out of messenger substance, which until then was believed to be impossible....So, tragically, in 1970, the detection of a healing process gave birth to the idea of a new class of viruses, and eventually HIV, because astonishingly researchers were not willing to rethink their models or listen to what nature has to tell them."
Lanka notes that scientists manipulated cultures to produce the results they were looking for. They would mix patientsí cells with cancer and embryonic cells to get high reverse transcriptase activity. On top of that, researchers would heavily stress cells so that the cells would create special proteins that they would not produce normally. This induced a disease-like effect, much like what would happen in patients who stressed themselves with highly oxidizing substances, such as nitrites and antibiotics. He states, "A virus is not needed to explain the conditions we are seeing in AIDS patients. Itís the effect of very oxidative stress." 8
Kurt Vanquill, a Harvard graduate doing research in California, gives similar counterarguments to Gallo and Montagnierís original evidence for HIV causing AIDS: "When Montagnier and Gallo detected reverse transcription activity in their cultures, they concluded that these T cells from AIDS patients were indeed infected with a retrovirus. Unfortunately, reverse transcription activity of normal cells also tends to be promoted by the very cellular conditions to which Gallo and Montagnier subjected their patientsí T cells. Therefore, detection of reverse transcription activity in the T cell cultures of AIDS patients was not proof at all that there was a retrovirus in those cultures.
"The second piece of evidence that Gallo and Montagnier offered in support of the notion that there was a retrovirus in the T cell cultures in their patients with AIDS was that they detected retroviral-like particles in these cell cultures. The important thing to remember is they didnít identify retroviral-like particles in isolates, i.e. pure HIV, from these cultures. They simply pointed to particles in impure cell cultures and asserted that not only were they retroviruses, but they were a specific retrovirus, HIV.
"Now that really defies all scientific good sense because as even Gallo admits, retroviral-like particles that are actually cellular in origin are, in fact, ubiquitous in cultures, especially when cultures are subjected to the conditions that Gallo and Montagnier used in order to cultivate HIV. Therefore, the identification of these particles in impure cell cultures was not by any means proof positive that those particles were a retrovirus, much less a specific retrovirus, HIV.
"The third piece of evidence that Gallo and Montagnier offered in support of the notion that these T cells cultures from AIDS patients actually harbored a retrovirus was that they identified certain proteins in these cultures as HIV proteins. These HIV proteins were then incorporated into the antibody and West Blot and used to test for HIV antibodies. Unfortunately, Gallo and Montagnier identified proteins in their cultures as HIV proteins simply because these proteins reacted with antibodies from AIDS patients, and not from non-AIDS patients. Unfortunately, because AIDS patients had a high level of circulating antibodies, much higher than in normal, healthy individuals, that meant that AIDS patients were likely to have antibody cross reactions with any particular given protein more frequently than non-AIDS patients. Therefore, the identification of certain proteins as HIV proteins, simply because they reacted with antibodies of AIDS patients and not non-AIDS patients was insufficient proof that these proteins were actually HIV proteins.
Those three pieces of evidence--reverse transcription activity, the identification of retroviral-like particles in impure cell cultures, and the identification of HIV proteins simply on the basis of antibody reactions--were the only pieces of evidence Gallo and Montagnier had in support of their claims to have isolated a retrovirus from their patientsí cultures."
Vanquill adds that subsequent to these isolation experiments, Montagnier and Gallo claimed that they had identified HIV DNA in cell cultures. But objectors ask how could they identify DNA as belonging to a retroviral particle unless they first isolate the retroviral particle and extract DNA from it? Vanquill states, "Two points should be made. First, if this is actually the DNA of an exogenous retroviral particle, there should be evidence of it being a unique molecular entity. Unfortunately, they found that this DNA is wildly variable. There are myriad incommensurable HIV DNAís, genetic sequence that vary by as much as 50 to 60 percent, indicating that this DNA that they culture out of patientís T cells isnít necessarily the DNA of an exogenous retroviral particle." 9
French film maker Djamel Tahi says that Montagnier admitted to not isolating the virus in an interview for a documentary about AIDS. Tahi states, "I asked Montagnier, ĎCan you please explain to me how you isolated HIV?í During the interview, it became very clear that he did not isolate HIV. He found something that looks like a retrovirus. 10
Lanka says that the tests once used to detect P-24 antigens as proof of HIV is meaningless. He points out that P-24 only represents a class of weight of proteins. There are several hundred different proteins in the body with a molecular weight of P-24; these tests are non-specific and can be detecting any of these proteins. Virologists no longer look for P-24. They have abandoned these tests in favor of genetic tests, which no longer refer to P-24 antigens. 11
Vanquill points out other problems with AIDS tests are reported in an article by Eleopulos et al in a 1993 Biotechnology article called "Is a positive western blot proof of HIV infection?" He states, "Researchers have identified several proteins that they consider unique structural components of HIV, and they have put these proteins in bands on a strip called the western blot. They expose this strip of what is purported to be HIV proteins to a patientís blood serum. If the patient has any antibodies in their serum that react with any of these proteins, these bands will darken and that patient will be considered someone who has been previously exposed to HIV.
"The Australian researchers point out that the test is not standardized, meaning that different laboratories have different standards for interpreting how many bands actually have to darken in order for an HIV test to be considered proof of HIV infection. In Africa, for example, you only have to have two bands darken before they consider you HIV-infected. In America, you generally have to have three bands darken before they consider you infected. And in Australia, you need four bands. Dissidents joke that if you are HIV-positive in Africa you should move to Australia. Thereís a good chance that you may be negative there. What it comes down to is that HIV testing is extremely subjective.
"The second point they make is that the test results are not reproducible. They produce a photograph in this paper of one and the same serum sample and send it to 19 different laboratories. Each time, they come back with a different result." 12
Nor is the antibody test proof of the existence of HIV. According to Lanka, a positive reading is merely an indication of antibodies made by oneís own protein, not HIV: "If you have a lot of dying cells in your body, more antibodies are going to be produced against them. You will automatically raise your antibody levels, and you will be said to be positive and then infected." 13
Neville Hodgkinson speaks of other problems with the antibody test: "In 1993, I came across an article in the science journal Biotechnology. There was a long review article by the Australian scientists who were questioning the validity of the HIV test. They were doing more than questioning it. They actually went through the various protein components of the tests.
"As you know, the HIV test purports to show the presence of antibodies to proteins that are said to be specific to HIV, this alleged virus infection. The whole validity of something like that depends on being sure that the antibodies that are picked up really do mean the presence of this virus, and nothing else. What the Australian scientists had done was go through the various proteins involved in this test (the proteins from the virus are called the antigens, and the antibodies are the response to those proteins by the body of the infected person.) One by one, they showed that none of these proteins were actually unique to HIV. In every case, there was documented evidence that they couldnít be. These various proteins and the equivalent antibodies could be explained by other conditions. They lifted quite a wide variety of conditions from the published literature, dismantling the whole idea that this test proved what it said it proved, the presence of a deadly new virus."
Before drawing conclusions, Hodgkinson shared this information with four virologists, expecting to receive criticism, but getting none. He went ahead and printed his article, with no resulting challenge from the scientific or medical community.
Hodgkinson gives an example of how a cross-reactions can occur on an antibody test: A team working from a University in Zaire set out to test the theory that leprosy could be one of the diseases that would count as an AIDS-defining illness in HIV-positive patients. Sure enough they found that a high proportion tested HIV-positive. When they went into it more deeply, they found that it was a protein from the leprosy germ itself that was reacting with the HIV test. 14
An important part of the definition of AIDS is a gross reduction in T 4 and suppressor 8 cells. While HIV is said to be the culprit responsible for killing these immune cells, this has never been actually proven. Hodgkinson says that according to the Australian scientists, T cells are not being destroyed at all but displaced to other parts of the body: "At the time, they were the only ones saying this, and it seemed a strange idea, but recently thereís been more and more work published by the mainstream acknowledging this fact that the whole idea of the virus killing of the T cells hasnít been acknowledged by experimental work."15 Lanka adds, "In the Ď70's, a new test to measure the strength of the immune system came to market. It would count T 4 (or T helper) cells. This was very misleading to doctors who believed that it was possible to measure the immune system by measuring some cells in the blood. This is not possible because only 2 percent of white blood cells are in the blood. If you have a little bit of stress, those 2 percent will immediately be removed into the tissues. This is an important biological operation. When the body thinks it is in a state of alarm, immune function is not needed. It would be a waste of energy. The body needs all its energy in the tissues to react quickly--to fight or run away."
Lanka concludes that T 4 counts are meaningless and mainstream science has long been aware of this: "The T 4 cells of the normal population were never checked because [scientists] already knew. In Ď81, a leading immunologist in the United States said it makes no sense to measure subsets of T cells because they had measured them in the 70's, and they found that T and B cells could be high or low in healthy or ill, young or old people. There was no correlation. "The original literature says that the normal range for t-cells is between 200 and 3,000, but think about what they are going to tell you if you have less than 500. They will tell you that you are in a dangerous state. Itís very frightening that this has been known in detail since the 70's." 16