Polio Vaccine-AIDS Issue 'Is Resolved'
USA Today; 8D
A theory posed by Edward Hooper in his 1999 book, "The River," which sought to find the origins to the AIDS epidemic, suggested that a 50-year old polio vaccine, tainted by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), was ultimately responsible. Much of the theory was based on the fact that he was able to show a geographical link to where the first AIDS cases appeared in Africa and where the vaccines were distributed in the 1950s and that the vaccine was derived from non-human primates. Hooper theorized that the vaccine used in the polio campaign in Africa a half century ago was really derived from chimpanzees, which can carry SIV and not rhesus macaque monkeys, which do not. SIV was said to have made the species leap into humans and subsequently launched the global AIDS crisis. However, Hooper's theory has now been officially debunked by scientist Simon Wain-Hobson and associates of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. The researchers report that their testing of the 50-year-old preserved vaccine samples proved conclusively that the vaccine lots were made using macaque kidneys, which are not affected by viruses of that nature. The researchers published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.