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October 7, 2009

Evidence Offered with Respect to Historical Events Concerning Consensus and Dissent on the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis

Darin Brown Ph.D.


Introduction

For many people, doubt of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis is associated with one individual, a German-American biochemist, Peter Duesberg, a professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  However, Duesberg is not alone in his dissent from AIDS orthodoxy.  Many prominent and distinguished scientists and academics either agree with his position on HIV or support dissent from the HIV-AIDS hypothesis in some fashion.  Several of these have either conducted research on retroviruses (the class of viruses to which HIV belongs), treated AIDS patients, helped developed HIV antibody tests, worked on drugs in the same class as those used to treat HIV, or made fundamental contributions to the theoretical scientific grounding upon which the hypothesis rests.  (See Appendices A and B below.)  Nevertheless, the mainstream media and AIDS propagandists continue to spread the false claim that only a “tiny minority” or “handful” of “fringe” scientists disagree with the HIV consensus.  This document will present a brief synopsis of historical events concerning consensus and dissent on the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, exposing this claim as wholly unsubstantiated by fact.  It will also show that dissent from the hypothesis is a very real and growing global phenomenon.

Duesberg’s dissent

Peter Duesberg is a molecular and cell biologist.  He received a PhD in chemistry from the University of Frankfurt in Germany in 1963.  He is currently professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  In 1986, he was awarded the seven-year Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Institutes of Health.  Also in 1986, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

In 1970, Duesberg completed work showing that the influenza virus has a segmented genome.  He isolated the first cancer gene in 1970 and mapped the genetic structure of retroviruses, (the class of viruses to which HIV belongs).

In 1987, Duesberg published the first major scientific paper questioning HIV in the journal Cancer Research; its title was "Retroviruses as Carcinogens and Pathogens: Expectations and Reality" (Duesberg, 1987).  The primary focus of the paper was the virus-cancer research program, but near the end of the paper, Duesberg took on the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, by pointing out the low annual incidence of AIDS, the inconsistency of a long clinical "latency" period with the short period of virus replication, the low levels of active virus, the fact that retroviruses do not kill cells, and the lack of an animal model.  The paper caused an immediate furor.  It was published at just about the same time that the CDC had officially classified reactivity on ELISA and Western blot tests as synonymous with "HIV infection" (Richards, 2007) and AZT was being promoted as a treatment.  A major publication, Confronting AIDS, had been published in 1986, and this book set out an agenda for the public health sector in dealing with the new epidemic (Institute of Medicine, 1986).  Many accused Duesberg of jeopardising public health by raising questions.

During the same year, survey researcher and freelance journalist John Lauritsen interviewed Duesberg, and his interview was published in the New York Native (Lauritsen, 1987a).  Duesberg then followed up with sequels in the journals Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Duesberg, 1988; Duesberg, 1989; Duesberg, 1991).  In 1992, Duesberg published a 77-page paper in Pharmacology and Therapeutics promoting his own alternative causation theory of AIDS – the "drug-AIDS hypothesis".  He claimed that the majority of AIDS cases in North America and Western Europe were the result of recreational and pharmaceutical drug abuse Duesberg, 1992).

In 1996, Duesberg published his manifesto in a new book, Inventing the AIDS Virus, in which he put forward his arguments and positions to the general reader (Duesberg, 1996b).

Other dissent

Around this time, others were also challenging the hypothesis, although from different perspectives.

In 1984, the psychiatrist Casper Schmidt wrote an article in the Journal of Psychohistory entitled "The Group-Fantasy Origins of AIDS" explicitly challenging the hypothesis (Schmidt, 1984).  Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos, a medical physicist based at the Royal Perth Hospital in Australia, and her group of researchers have published since 1988 that HIV has never been correctly isolated (purified) as a distinct exogenous entity (Papadopulos-Eleopulos, 1988).  In contrast, Duesberg concludes that HIV does exist, but as a harmless passenger virus, as opposed to the causative agent in AIDS (Duesberg, 1997).  Robert Root-Bernstein, an associate professor of physiology at Michigan State University and former MacArthur prize recipient, professed his own doubts about the HIV hypothesis in his 1993 book Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus.  Root-Bernstein does not rule out a role for HIV in AIDS, but he claims it may be neither necessary nor sufficient for AIDS (Root-Bernstein, 1993).

In 1995, a collection of articles was published by dissenters in the journal Genetica (Genetica, 1995).  Three were written by Duesberg, two by the Perth group of researchers, and two by Root-Bernstein.  They formed the basis of the book AIDS: Virus or Drug Induced?, published the following year (Duesberg, 1996a).  In addition to the papers cited above, it included articles and papers by mathematician Mark Craddock, NIDA researcher Harry Haverkos, Lauritsen, Nobel prize winner Kary Mullis, Yale math professor Serge Lang, public health professor Gordon Stewart, and journalist Celia Farber.

Journalists (print) cover the controversy

John Lauritsen, a former survey researcher and freelance journalist, also began publishing articles as early as 1985 in the now defunct weekly, the New York Native, that were critical of the HIV theory and the direction of research predicated upon it (Lauritsen, 1993).  In 1990, Lauritsen published Poison by Prescription: The AZT Story, a book that was highly critical of the studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety of AZT in the treatment of AIDS (Lauritsen, 1990).

In 1993, Lauritsen published his manifesto, The AIDS War, a collection of his writings on AIDS from 1985 to 1992 (Lauritsen, 1993).  Celia Farber began chronicling the controversy over the hypothesis in 1987, most notably in a series entitled “Words From the Front” in SPIN magazine.  Between 1992 and 1994, Neville Hodgkinson and the Sunday Times published a series of articles on the dissidents, which attracted much media attention itself (Hodgkinson, 1993).

The same year, the journal Science undertook a 3-month investigation led by the journalist Jon Cohen, in which it interviewed more than 50 supporters and detractors, examined the AIDS literature, including Duesberg's publications, and carried out correspondence and discussion with Duesberg (Cohen, 1994).  It claimed to refute Duesberg point by point.  This was the most significant acknowledgement to date by a major science journal of the existence of dissent on AIDS.

“The Group” is formed

In 1991, several scientists, researchers, and doctors under the name "The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis" (aka "the Group") submitted a short letter to various scientific journals. (Many of these original signatories are described in Appendices A and B below.)  It read:

"It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes the group of diseases called AIDS. Many biochemical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose that a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that critical epidemiological studies be devised and undertaken."

All the journals refused to publish it.  In 1995, the Group was finally able to get another letter accepted and published by the editor of Science:

"In 1991, we, the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis, became dissatisfied with the state of the evidence that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) did, in fact, cause AIDS."

"Specifically, we have proposed that researchers independent of the HIV establishment should audit the Centers for Disease Control's records of AIDS cases, bearing in mind that the correlation of HIV with AIDS, upon which the case for HIV causation rests, is itself an artefact of the definition of AIDS. Since 1985, exactly the same diseases or conditions have been defined as 'AIDS' when antibodies are present, and as 'non-AIDS' when HIV and antibodies are absent. Independent professional groups such as the Society of Actuaries should be invited to nominate members for an independent commission to investigate the following question: How frequently do AIDS-defining diseases (or low T cell counts) occur in the absence of HIV? Until we have a definition of AIDS that is independent of HIV, the supposed correlation of HIV and AIDS is mere tautology."

"Other independent researchers should examine the validity of the so-called 'AIDS tests', especially when these tests are used in Africa and Southern Asia, to see if they reliably record the presence of antibodies, let alone live and replicating virus.”

“The bottom line is this: the skeptics are eager to see the results of independent scientific testing. Those who uphold the HIV 'party line' have so far refused. We object." (Group, 1995)

The Group began a periodic newsletter in 1992 (Group, 1992).  Since that time, the number of individuals who have either signed the original letter submitted to the journals in 1991, or who have expressed doubt about the hypothesis has swelled to over 2,600.  A significant proportion of these hold either medical or post-graduate academic degrees.  A list of these individuals is available at the following URL: http://aras.ab.ca/rethinkers.php, accessed 6 October 2009.

Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel

Dissidents attracted their first real endorsement from a major political figure in 2000 – Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa (Bialy, 2004).  Mbeki has openly questioned the HIV theory, and in the summer of 2000, he convened a South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel to deliberate on issues pertaining to HIV and AIDS in South Africa (PAAPR, 2001).  He invited dissenting scientists such as Duesberg and biochemist David Rasnick to join the Panel.  (Other dissenting scientists invited to the Panel are listed in Appendices A and B below.)

Recommendations in general and in particular diverged between those who supported the HIV-AIDS hypothesis and those who dissented from it.  Ten experiments were proposed by various panelists.  One important conclusion reached by the Panel concerned the unreliability of data on HIV and AIDS in South Africa: “The deliberations of the panel were at all times bedevilled by the absence of accurate and reliable data and statistics on the magnitude of the AIDS problem or even HIV prevalence in South Africa. Repeated requests for such data and statistics, particularly by panellists who refuted [sic] the causal link between HIV and AIDS, failed to result in the provision of such data by either South African panellists or the officials of the Department of Health.” (PAAPR, 2001)

Mbeki suffered considerable political fallout over these actions, although he was re-elected by a wide margin of victory, despite his dissenting views (BBC, 2004a).  Indeed, when presented with both viewpoints, a majority of South Africans conclude that anti-retrovirals are not the most effective treatment for "HIV/AIDS" (SABC 2, 2005).

Official responses: The “Durban Declaration” and NIAID “Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS”

The AIDS orthodoxy’s response to Mbeki’s assembling of his Presidential Panel was not reasoned debate or dialogue, but the so-called “Durban Declaration”, which was published in the journal Nature on 6 July 2000.  It was conceived and implemented by Simon Wain-Hobson, a prominent HIV gene sequencer.  It was signed by over 5,000 physicians and scientists.  (Each signatory was required to have a PhD or MD-equivalent degree.)

The claim has been made that the Declaration was signed primarily by HIV-AIDS researchers, or at least scientists who were remotely familiar with the most important aspects of the debate over HIV causation.  However, this is far from the case.  The following is an e-mail sent by Simon Wain-Hobson on behalf of the “organizing committee”:

“Thu, 22 Jun 2000 04:22:28-0700 (PDT)

Dear —,

You have probably heard about the reappearance of an old myth surrounding the cause of AIDS.  Peter Duesberg is back in the columns of Nature and Science.  His thesis is that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, that there is no need to screen blood, or treat patients.  The situation has taken a serious turn in that President Mbeki of South Africa is consulting him.  The consequences are being felt in Africa and Asia. An international group of scientists and doctors has come up with something called the Durban Declaration to be published in Nature on July 6. ... If you would like to sign on we would be delighted. Send me an e-mail confirming this. ... Many of you will say that HIV/AIDS is not your area. However over the years you have heard enough of the arguments to understand the association.  Furthermore many of you know well infectious diseases and understand Koch’s postulates.  If you have colleagues in the laboratory or in the clinic who you feel would like to sign on please ask them.  The more the better. ...

Many thanks,

Simon Wain-Hobson” [emphasis added] (Bialy, 2004)

This e-mail clearly conveys the fact that signatories were enlisted without consideration of their particular knowledge of HIV or AIDS, and without consideration of how much time and effort they had expended to research all viewpoints in the debate, or even whether they were remotely familiar with the basic arguments and positions of Duesberg and other dissidents.  It also demonstrates that the Declaration was specifically made in response to a perceived threat posed by the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Mbeki.  It follows that the Declaration was more a piece of political propaganda than a legitimate part of scientific discourse.

The document most often cited as proof of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis is a document, “The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS”, produced by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) (NIAID, 2009).  This document however, fails to respect accepted standards of scientific discourse: It is anonymously authored; it does not include a comprehensive list of citations; it does not include author contact information; it can be retroactively modified at any time without public record of such modifications; it has not been peer-reviewed; and it has no journal of record to which rebuttals may be submitted.  Thus, it is totally illegitimate in terms of acceptable scientific discourse and should not be considered as scientific evidence.

HIV on Trial

In early 2004, investigative journalist Liam Scheff broke the story of the Incarnation Children's Center in New York City (Scheff, 2004a).  The story detailed how children – primarily black, Hispanic, and poor – were being force-fed toxic antiretroviral drugs through "NG-tubes" [nose tubes] and "G-tubes" [stomach tubes].  The story was picked up by the New York Post and the New York Press (Scheff, 2004b), ultimately leading to a BBC documentary, "Guinea Pig Kids" (BBC, 2004b).

In March 2006, Harper's published a 16-page article by Celia Farber entitled, "Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science" (Farber, 2006b).  This article initiated a series of events which has put HIV protagonists on the defensive ever since.  The article was originally commissioned to cover Duesberg's cancer research specifically, but Farber and Harper's editor Roger Hodge decided to shift the emphasis of the story to Jonathan Fishbein and the HIVNET 012 Uganda trial of nevirapine.  The article attracted an enormous amount of media exposure, including coverage of the article by the New York Times (Miller, 2006) and by National Public Radio (Gladstone, 2006).

In October 2006, Andre Chad Parenzee appealed his conviction in Australia of having unprotected sex with three women despite being told he was diagnosed "HIV positive" (YBYL, 2006).  Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and Valendar Turner were witnesses for the defense. This appeal represents the first time that HIV protagonists have been forced to defend the HIV hypothesis in court (YBYL, 2007).  The appeal was denied, and the Perth researchers have responded to the ruling at their website (Perth, 2007).

Breaking the wall of silence

As dissenting scientists continued their questioning, patient/activist organizations began to develop.  Health Education AIDS Liaison (HEAL) was founded in New York City in 1982, and it eventually became the most prominent dissident activist organization (HEAL, 2009).  Other groups have come into being since then, including Alive and Well (Alive and Well, 2009). These groups have openly challenged the HIV theory.

In 2004, molecular biologist Harvey Bialy published Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS, a book about the life and work of Duesberg (Bialy, 2004).  In 2006, Celia Farber authored Serious Adverse Events, a history of the AIDS phenomenon from a dissenting perspective (Farber, 2006a).  In 2007, mathematician Rebecca Culshaw penned Science Sold Out, detailing her disillusionment after ten years of HIV research (Culshaw, 2007), and chemistry professor Henry Bauer produced The Origin, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory after intense scrutiny of HIV antibody test demographics (Bauer, 2007).  In 2008, the English translation of Etienne de Harven’s book Ten Lies About AIDS appeared (de Harven, 2008).

In early 2006, the Group founded a new website (RA, 2009), and also by that time, a network of dozens of websites, blogs, and information resources among dissidents had developed.  A list of these websites can be found at the following URL: http://www.reviewingaids.com/awiki/index.php/List_of_dissident_websites, accessed 6 October 2009.  The servers of many of these websites are located outside the United States, and several are written in languages other than English.

In 2009, a major documentary film covering the controversy surrounding dissent from the HIV-AIDS hypothesis appeared.  The film presents the uncensored viewpoints of virtually all the major players in the controversy in their own words.  It has already won several film festival awards (Leung, 2009).  In November 2009, the film will be screened at the Rethinking AIDS Conference 2009, which “will consist of talks that question the widely held dogma that HIV causes AIDS, including whether HIV exists, whether it is sexually transmitted, whether HIV tests are accurate and whether AIDS drugs are safe and effective”. (RA Conference, 2009)


Appendix A:  List of scientists and academics who either supported Peter Duesberg’s position on HIV or supported dissent from the HIV-AIDS hypothesis between 1987 and 1991

(This list is not comprehensive.)

Harvey Bialy is a molecular biologist.  He received a PhD in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1970.  He was the editor of Bio/technology (now Nature Biotechnology, the leading biotechnology journal in the world) from 1983-1996. He has coauthored significant papers in molecular genetics and authored editorials and commentaries on contemporary issues in biotechnology.

Bialy was the co-recipient of a grant from the Charles Merrill Trust to study antibiotic resistant pathogens in Nigeria in 1978.  He received a World Health Organization (WHO) grant to study the epidemiology and genetics of antibiotic resistant enteric pathogens, also in Nigeria, in 1982. He worked as a visiting researcher or research fellow at several universities in the United States and Africa throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He was advisor to the Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in Havana, Cuba from 1986-1996.

Bialy was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*, and was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.  Bialy chronicled Duesberg’s HIV dissent in his book, Oncogenes, Aneuploidy, and AIDS: A Scientific Life and Times of Peter H. Duesberg, in 2004 (Bialy, 2004).

In 1992, Bialy stated, “A powerful hypothesis has to explain and predict. What kind of scientist continues to support a hypothesis [the HIV-AIDS hypothesis] that fails to explain and fails to predict?” (Farber, 1992)  In 1995, Bialy stated, “AIDS ‘science’ has one clear thinker.  His name is Peter Duesberg.” (Duesberg, 1995)

Frank Buianouckas, PhD, is emeritus professor of mathematics at CUNY, Bronx Community College.  In 1995, he stated, “I am suspect about everything involved in this AIDS epidemic, because if HIV causes anything, it certainly causes fund-raisers. It sells stocks. It supports dances. It sells condoms. And it keeps the AIDS establishment going.” (Penthouse, 1995) Buianouckas was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Hiram Caton, PhD, was professor of politics and history at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, where he once served as head of the School of Applied Ethics.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Biology and a founding member of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences.

Caton is author of the 1994 pamphlet The AIDS Mirage, which argues against the HIV-AIDS hypothesis (Caton, 1994).  In 1995, he wrote, “Peter Duesberg sent a bucket of papers that I closely studied. In a letter of December 8, 1992, I wrote him of a view I formed four years previous: ‘Your initial article on the HIV model seemed to me one of the finest scientific criticisms I have read ... ever. The 1991 article in Proceedings [(Duesberg, 1991)] and the use of drugs article [(Duesberg, 1992)] are of the same quality.’” (Caton, 1995)

Gordon Edlin, PhD, is adjunct professor in the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Physiology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  His research areas include the regulation of viruses and bacteria, molecular mechanisms of disease, and molecular evolution.  Edlin was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Bernard Forscher, PhD, was editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the leading scientific journals in the world.  In 1994, he stated, “It [the HIV-AIDS hypothesis] is a hoax that became a scam.” (Hodgkinson, 1994)  Forscher was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Walter Gilbert is a physicist, biochemist, and pioneer in molecular biology.  He received a PhD in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1957.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1980 for his work with Frederick Sanger “for their contributions concerning the determination of base sequences in nucleic acids” (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1980).

In the 1970s, Gilbert developed the technique of using gel electrophoresis to read the nucleotide sequences of DNA segments.  He is a co-founder of the biotech companies Biogen and Myriad Genetics.  He helped to found Paratek Pharmaceuticals, a company invested in combatting bacterial resistance, and Memory Pharmaceuticals, which was geared toward developing cures for central nervous system disorders.  He has served in an advisory capacity for several other biotechnology companies (Britannica, 2009).

In 1988, Gilbert stated, “Duesberg is absolutely correct in saying that no one has proven that AIDS is caused by the AIDS virus. And he is absolutely correct that the virus cultured in the laboratory may not be the cause of AIDS.” (Hippocrates, 1988)  In 1993, he stated, “I would not be surprised if there were another cause of AIDS and even that HIV is not involved.” (Liversidge, 1993)

Beverly Griffin is a British virologist and emeritus professor and Senior Research Fellow in the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.  She is also honorary professor at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at Charles University in Prague.  She has published extensive research on the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV).  Griffin was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Sungchul Ji, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Rutgers University.  For more than three decades, he has published extensively on theoretical cell biology.  Ji was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Phillip Johnson is emeritus professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley.  In 1994, he stated, “Duesberg had asked me to give a critical reading to an early draft of the paper [(Duesberg, 1992)], and I was sufficiently interested to go through it line by line and source by source. By accident I had an unusual additional role … I became by default the go-between for the author and editor. … Through this process I became intimately familiar with the jots and tittles of the HIV/AIDS controversy, and I became convinced that Duesberg was practicing honest science and the HIV establishment was not.” (Johnson, 1994)  Johnson was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Steven Jonas, MD, is professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York.  He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association, and the New York Academy of Medicine.  He is a Past President of the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine, and a past member of the New York State Board for Medicine.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the American Medical Athletic Association Journal.  On health policy, preventive medicine and public health, and drug abuse policy, Jonas has published over 135 professional articles, book chapters, and book reviews, and has delivered over 100 papers at conferences and seminars.

In 1994, he stated that evidence was “rapidly accumulating” that the original HIV-AIDS hypothesis was not correct, and that “by itself it [HIV] is not sufficient to cause the disease” (Hodgkinson, 1994).  Jonas was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

John Lauritsen graduated from Harvard University in 1963 and worked for more than 20 years in professional survey research as a market research executive and analyst.

Between 1987 and 1991, Lauritsen authored no less than 25 articles and essays questioning the HIV-AIDS hypothesis and drug therapies predicated upon it.  During this time, he drew upon his expertise in survey research and wrote extensively on the epidemiology of HIV and AIDS as presented by the CDC, and on the original clinical trials which led to the approval of AZT by the FDA in 1987 (Lauritsen, 1985; Lauritsen, 1987b; Lauritsen, 1988; Lauritsen, 1989).  After reading Duesberg’s critique of the HIV-AIDS hypothesis in Cancer Research in 1987 (Duesberg, 1987), he became the first journalist to interview Duesberg in 1987 (Lauritsen, 1987a).

Lauritsen was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.  In 1992, he stated, “The great merit of his [Duesberg’s] critique of the HIV-‘AIDS’ hypothesis is its comprehensiveness. Though Duesberg speaks with great authority in his own specialty, molecular biology, he is also an excellent generalist, and has drawn some of his most powerful arguments from such fields as epidemiology, toxicology, philosophy, and history.” (Lauritsen, 1992)

Robert Maver is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and served as former head actuary for Mutual Beneficial Life.  In 1994, he stated, “…the first paper that I read was Peter Duesberg's in Cancer Research, … There were so many points that made sense in terms of keeping an open mind toward questioning whether HIV is in fact the cause of AIDS.” (Rethinking, 1994)  Maver was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.

Kary Mullis is a biochemist.  He received a PhD in biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972.

Mullis shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 “for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method” (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1993).  PCR is a central technique used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and it is also the basis of the so-called “viral load” tests for HIV, which purport to quantify the number of HIV virions (virus particles) present in a patient.  Mullis himself is skeptical of the use of PCR in AIDS research.  In 1992, he stated, “PCR made it easier to see that certain people are infected with HIV ... and some of those people came down with symptoms of AIDS. But that doesn't begin even to answer the question, ‘Does HIV cause it?’” (Farber, 1994)

Mullis was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*, and he was invited to be a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000, but could not attend**.  Mullis wrote the foreword to Duesberg’s 1996 book Inventing the AIDS Virus, in which he stated, “We [Mullis and Duesberg] have not been able to discover any good reasons why most of the people on earth believe that AIDS is a disease caused by a virus called HIV. There is simply no scientific evidence demonstrating that this is true.” (Duesberg, 1996b)  In 1998, he stated, “Years from now, people will find our acceptance of the HIV theory of AIDS as silly as we find those who excommunicated Galileo.” (Mullis, 1998)

Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos is a biophysicist who has worked as a medical technician at the Royal Perth Hospital, a teaching hospital in western Australia.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear physics from the University of Bucharest.

Papadopulos-Eleopulos was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*, and was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.  She authored a 1988 paper which stated, “There is no compelling reason for preferring the viral hypothesis of AIDS to one based on the activity of oxidising agents.” (Papadopulos-Eleopulos, 1988)  In 1993, she co-authored papers explicitly challenging the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, in particular the isolation (purification) of HIV itself and the alleged specificity of the Western Blot antibody test (Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1993a, Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1993b).

Robert Root-Bernstein is professor of physiology at Michigan State University.  He received an AB in biochemistry from Princeton University in 1975 and a PhD in the History of Science from Princeton University in 1980. He was a MacArthur Fellow from 1981-1986.  His research interests include molecular complementarity, autoimmunity, and the nature of scientific creativity.  Root-Bernstein was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*, and he was invited to be a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000, but could not attend**.

In 1990, he wrote, “Existing data do not, as yet, allow us to establish HIV as the unequivocal cause of immunosuppression in AIDS.” (Root-Bernstein, 1990)  In 1993, Root-Bernstein authored Rethinking AIDS: The Tragic Cost of Premature Consensus, in which he postulated that HIV may be neither necessary nor sufficient for AIDS (Root-Bernstein, 1993).

Harry Rubin, DVM, is professor emeritus of cell and developmental biology at the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a pioneer in the field of retrovirology, (the study of retroviruses, the class of viruses to which HIV belongs).  He has done experimental research on the role of the cellular microenvironment in the regulation of tumor development, and his present work is concerned with the fundamental biological principle of ordered heterogeneity.

In 1958, Rubin showed with Howard Temin that the retrovirus Rous Sarcoma Virus (RSV) was oncogenic (i.e. could induce malignant transformation leading to the formation of a tumor), and they developed the first in vitro quantitative assay for RSV.  This was the first of several cell culture assays which led to fundamental research on the nature of retroviruses and reverse transcription (the process by which HIV synthesizes DNA from its RNA genome) (Temin, 1975).

Rubin was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.  In 1994, Rubin stated, “It is not proven that AIDS is caused by HIV infection, nor is it proven that it plays no role whatever in the syndrome.” (Hodgkinson, 1994)

Caspar Schmidt, MD, was a psychiatrist.  Born in South Africa, he moved to the US in 1975, where he received training in adolescent, child, and infant psychology.  He worked in psychoanalytic practice in New York City for many years.

In the summer of 1984, he published an essay explicitly questioning the viral causation theory of AIDS (Schmidt, 1984).  In a 1992 interview, he stated, “I was never impressed with HIV as the cause of the syndrome, for various reasons. ... HIV, a relatively weak virus, belongs to the family of retroviruses. Characteristically, the retroviruses do not kill cells, they cause them to proliferate. So from the word go, when people said this weak virus kills the T-cells, it didn't make sense to me. All the evidence was against it.” (Young, 1997)

Joseph Sonnabend, MD, treated many early AIDS patients in New York.  He was one of the first doctors to question the HIV-AIDS hypothesis and promote the concept of safe sex.  Sonnabend founded the journal AIDS Research (later re-named AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses after Sonnabend’s departure) and collaborated with Mathilde Krim to found AIDS Medical Foundation (later renamed American Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR).  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.

In 1989, Sonnabend wrote, “Despite the widespread acceptance of the etiologic roles of the HIV’s in AIDS, these must remain conjectural as long as two questions (at least) remain open. One concerns pathogenesis and the other the association of the HIV’s with AIDS. ... The premature acceptance as fact of a contention that more properly belongs in the realm of speculation has had a number of far reaching consequences, let alone the painful fact that it has provided virtually no help to people with AIDS, despite a massive investment and six years of intensive work on the biology of the HIVs and the chemotherapy of infection with these viruses. … The cause or causes of AIDS remains unknown, and thus all hypotheses, including HIV, must be pursued.” (Sonnabend, 1989)

Gordon Stewart, MD, is emeritus professor of public health at the University of Glasgow, UK, and an honorary consultant physician in epidemiology and preventive medicine in the NHS and allied agencies, UK.  In a professional career of over 50 years in the UK and elsewhere, he has specialized in the control of infections, with increasing emphasis upon the importance of behavioral, social and environmental conditions as prime factors in disease control.

Stewart was formerly a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and at Tulane University in New Orleans, and a visiting professor at medical colleges in India, Pakistan, Senegal, and Cornell Medical School in the New York Hospital.  He has served as a medical consultant to several health authorities in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF.  He is an emeritus Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a former member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Stewart was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*, and was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.  In 1992, he stated, “The hypothesis that HIV is the sole cause of AIDS simply does not fit the clinical and epidemiological facts.” (Stewart, 1992)

Richard Strohman was emeritus professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California at Berkeley.  He received a PhD in biology from Columbia University in 1958.

Strohman studied cell and tissue growth regulation and cellular differentiation using molecular and cell approaches.  He was Chair of the Zoology Department at UC Berkeley from 1973-1976, and director of Berkeley's Health and Medical Sciences Program from 1976-1979.  He was also former research director of the American Muscular Dystrophy Association.  He was an outspoken critic of genetic determinism and biological reductionism.

Strohman was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.  In 1995, he wrote the preface to Duesberg’s book Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled?, in which he stated, “If ever there was a rush to judgment with its predictable disastrous results it has been the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and its aftermath. … The collected works of Peter Duesberg is the closest thing we have – in the HIV/AIDS controversy – to a steadfast refusal to disregard uncomfortable facts.” (Duesberg, 1995)

Charles Thomas, PhD, is a molecular biologist and former professor of biochemistry at Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities.  He is president of the Helicon Foundation, a biotechnology research group.

Thomas was an original signatory to the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis*.  In 1992, he stated, “I feel that for scientists to remain silent in the face of all this doubt [about the HIV-AIDS hypothesis] is tantamount to criminal negligence” (Farber, 1992).  In 1993, he stated, “I think that Duesberg and Root-Bernstein have it right” in response to the question, “If HIV does not cause AIDS, what does?” (Rethinking, 1993)

* The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis (aka the Group) came into existence as a group of signatories of an open letter to the scientific community. The letter (dated 6 June 1991) has been submitted to the editors of Nature, Science, The Lancet, and The New England Journal of MedicineAll the journals refused to publish it:

"It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes the group diseases called AIDS. Many biochemical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose that a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that critical epidemiological studies be devised and undertaken."

** The Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel was convened by South African President Thabo Mbeki in 2000 “in order to gain a full knowledge of AIDS” and “to inform and advise the government [of South Africa] as to the most appropriate course of action to follow in dealing with AIDS.”  Basic scientists, physicians, historians, economists, public health professionals, policy makers, persons living with AIDS, and lay persons were invited to serve on the Panel (PAAPR, 2001).


Appendix B:  List of scientists and academics who either supported Peter Duesberg’s position on HIV or supported dissent from the HIV-AIDS hypothesis after 1991

(This list is not comprehensive.)

Henry Bauer, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Science Studies and Dean Emeritus of Arts and Sciences at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.  After researching electrochemistry at the Universities of Sydney, Michigan, Southampton, and Kentucky, he turned to general issues relating to scientific activity, in particular how to differentiate science from pseudoscience. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate programs in humanities and science and technology studies. Upon retirement from teaching at the end of 1999, he became Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

Bauer has challenged the HIV-AIDS hypothesis in several papers, based primarily on the claim that the data on HIV seroprevalence are incompatible with the notion that the HIV antibody tests are detecting a sexually transmissable virus (Bauer, 2005; Bauer, 2006a; Bauer, 2006b).  In 2007, he published The Origin, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory, detailing his arguments against the HIV paradigm and his own explanations of how it is has persisted for so long despite its failings (Bauer, 2007).

In 2006, Bauer stated, “The orthodox rule is wrong and the paradigm is ready to be toppled.” (Dellinger, 2006)

Mark Craddock, PhD, is an Australian mathematician.  He is a Lecturer in Mathematical Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Craddock has written articles criticizing the “virological mayhem” model of HIV infection developed by David Ho and his collaborators in the mid-1990s (Craddock, 1995; Craddock, 1996).  In 1996, Craddock stated, “One gets a remarkable sense of being disassociated from the real world when entering the realm of AIDS research. … Science is about making observations and trying to fit them into a theoretical framework. Having the theoretical framework allows us to make predictions about phenomena that we can then test.  HIV ‘science’ long ago set off on a different path. ... People who ask simple, straightforward questions are labelled as loonies who are dangerous to public health.” (Craddock, 1996)

Rebecca Culshaw is a Canadian mathematician.  She received a PhD in mathematics from Dalhousie University in 2002, with emphases in mathematical biology and optimal control theory.

Culshaw studied mathematical models of the immunological aspects of HIV infection for ten years.  She has authored or co-authored five papers and given seven conference talks based on such models.  She has served as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Journal of Biological Systems.

In March 2006, Culshaw published an article on LewRockwell.com, "Why I Quit HIV", in which she described her reasons for quitting HIV research and her disillusionment over the politics governing AIDS science (Culshaw, 2006a).  She expanded upon these reasons in her 2007 book Science Sold Out: Does HIV Really Cause AIDS? (Culshaw, 2007).  In 2006, she stated, “When all is said and done, the only support we have for any role HIV may play in AIDS is an epidemiological correlation. … When all is stripped away, as we slowly begin to understand just how uncertain the foundations of the entire HIV-AIDS industry are, all we are left with is nothing.” (Culshaw, 2006b)

Charles Geshekter, PhD, is emeritus professor of African history at California State University, Chico.  He has held three Fulbright Awards, and his African field research was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation and Social Science Research Council.  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**. 

In 1999, Geshekter stated, “AIDS scientists and public health planners should recognize the role of malnutrition, poor sanitation, anemia, and parasitic and endemic infections in producing the clinical AIDS symptoms [in Africans] that are manifestations of non-HIV insults. ... Multilateral institutions and African social scientists should familiarize themselves with the growing body of literature that demonstrates the contradictions, anomalies and inconsistencies in the orthodox view that AIDS is caused by a viral infection.” (Geshekter, 1999)

Roberto Giraldo, MD, is a specialist in internal medicine.  For four decades, he has dedicated his work to clinical, academic, and research activities regarding different aspects of infectious, tropical, and immunological diseases, in various regions of Colombia, the United States, Europe, and Africa.  Much of his research has been in the field of secondary or acquired immune deficiencies, especially those occurring in developing countries.  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.

In 1997, Giraldo published AIDS and Stressors, a book arguing that AIDS is neither an infectious disease nor sexually transmitted.  He proposed that AIDS is a "toxic-nutritional syndrome caused by the alarming worldwide increment of immunological stressor agents." (Giraldo, 1997)

In 2003, Giraldo stated, "Never in the history of medicine has a disease been subject to such intense public scrutiny as AIDS is today.  Most people feel certain that everything that they have been told about AIDS is true.  Unfortunately, none of the mainstream medical views regarding Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and its purported cause, HIV, have been scientifically validated." (Giraldo, 2003)

Etienne de Harven, MD, is emeritus professor of pathology and former Director of the Electron Microscope Laboratory in the Department of Pathology at the University of Toronto.  His work in electron microscopy (EM) has focused primarily on the ultra-structure of retroviruses, (the class of viruses to which HIV belongs).  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.  The English translation of his book Ten Lies About AIDS was published in 2008 (de Harven, 2008).

In 1998, de Harven stated, “Obviously, the HIV-AIDS hypothesis has to be scientifically reappraised.  And, most urgently, the funding for AIDS research should no longer be restricted to laboratories working on an hypothesis which has never been proven.” (de Harven, 1998)

Alfred Hässig, MD, was Professor Emeritus in Immunology at the University of Bern, a former Director of the Swiss Red Cross Transfusion Service, and a former President of the Board of Trustees of the International Society of Blood Transfusion.

In 1997, Hässig stated, “Because the falsely interpreted ‘anti-HIV-antibodies’ are not a defense mechanism against an infectious agent, a virus, but are autoimmune antibodies, all AIDS research at present and the resulting treatments are totally wrong.” (Continuum, 1997)

Serge Lang, PhD, was one of the most prolific mathematicians of the 20th century.  At the time of his death, he was professor emeritus of mathematics at Yale University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lang was a vocal critic of the orthodox consensus on HIV and AIDS.  He was also a tireless advocate of Peter Duesberg’s cancer and AIDS research.  He was particularly critical of the treatment of AIDS dissidents in major scientific journals, especially Nature and Science. He kept extensive "files" on HIV and AIDS, which included many communications with the editors of these journals. Many of these files concerning HIV and AIDS can be found in the book Challenges (Lang 1998), and a collection of roughly 600 pages of original documents from these files can be found at the Serge Lang Memorial HIV-AIDS Archive (Brown, 2006).

In 1994, Lang stated, “I do not regard the causal relationship between HIV and any disease as settled. I have seen considerable evidence that highly improper statistics concerning HIV and AIDS have been passed off as science, and that top members of the scientific establishment have carelessly, if not irresponsibly, joined the media in spreading misinformation about the nature of AIDS.” (Lang, 1994)

Lynn Margulis, PhD, is a biologist and Distinguised University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Margulis has made significant original contributions to cell biology and microbial evolution.  She is best known for her endosymbiotic theory, which the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has called “one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology” (Brockman, 1995).  She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983.  In 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Clinton.

In 2006, Margulis stated, “We find the paucity of evidence published in standard peer-reviewed primary scientific journals that leads to the conclusion that ‘HIV causes AIDS’ appalling. No amount of moralizing censorship, rhetorical tricks, consensus of opinion, pulling rank, obfuscation, ad hominem attacks or blustering newspaper editorials changes this fact. The conflation ‘HIV/AIDS’ may be good marketing but is it science? No. Yet certainly the political and economic implications of the term ‘HIV/AIDS’ are staggering.” (Margulis and MacAllister, 2006)

George Miklos is the director of MIKLOS-BOND Biomedical Information Services in Sydney, Australia.  He is a widely recognized expert in genomics, and was a pride of place author on the landmark publication describing the mapping of the human genome (Venter et al., 2001).  Over a span of more than three decades, he has authored or co-authored more than 50 papers, articles, and editorials on genetics, molecular and cell biology, and biotechnology.

In 2004, Miklos stated, “How can you perform academic or commercially relevant biology if you don't think deeply? If you don't have a coherent theory and if you are dependent upon sophisticated technologies and bioinformatic protocols that you don't understand, then your data interpretations are in the realm of voodoo science. It is painfully obvious by now that this is where many…AIDS researchers have located themselves – a conclusion attested to by the…mountain of contradictions in the scientific literature concerning presumed HIV pathogenesis, AIDS morbidity, mortality, epidemiology and demography.” (Miklos, 2004)

Donald Miller, MD, is a cardiac surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle.  He is a member of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, the Western Thoracic Surgical Society, and the American College of Surgeons.  He has authored or co-authored more than 30 scientific papers and articles on thoracic and cardiovascular surgery.

In 2006, Miller stated, “When Duesberg's work on HIV/AIDS and cancer is finally recognized and accepted, it will cause a revolution in science. …Once the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is acknowledged to be false, a domino effect will impact other branches of science that government now controls. … Duesberg's work will do to biology and science in this century what Copernicus did to astronomy and science five centuries ago.” (Miller, 2006)

Camille Paglia, PhD, is university professor at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  She has lectured and written extensively on art, culture, the media and politics.  She is the author of the bestselling book Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, a groundbreaking and controversial survey of sexual decadence in Western literature and the visual arts.

In 1996, Paglia stated, “I, as a scholar, have been completely skeptical right from the start about everything [about AIDS].” (Christie, 1996)  She has described AIDS activists as “the most insane and vicious and intolerant people I have ever met in my life … The way they controlled the discourse, their arrogance – they were like little Hitlers, stormtroopers, who believed that they had the truth, and anyone who tried to have a different view of AIDS, or the origins of AIDS, or anything like that, that we should not be permitted to speak.” (Christie, 1996)

Gerald Pollack is a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.  He received a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.  His research interests include the molecular basis of biological motion, optical image processing, and cell function.  He is best known for his controversial theories on the nature and structure of water, which challenge conventional theories of cell structure and function (Pollack, 2001).

In 2006, Pollack stated, “If the papers that Duesberg cites are not misrepresented – and it is difficult to see how hundreds of papers could be misrepresented without the AIDS establishment coming down mercilessly on his misrepresentations – then his points are indeed compelling. ... One could only hope for a detailed point-by-point response from the establishment, but very little of substance has been forthcoming. Mainly, what have come from the AIDS establishment are ex-cathedra responses such as ‘the evidence is overwhelming.’” (Pollack, 2006)

David Rasnick, PhD, is a biochemist who has worked professionally for 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry developing protease inhibitors (a class of drugs used to treat HIV infection) for tissue-destroying diseases including cancer, emphysema, arthritis, and parasitic disease.  For the past decade, he has collaborated closely with Peter Duesberg on the aneuploidy theory of cancer.  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.

In 1997, Rasnick stated, “The HIV cult has transported AIDS beyond the domain of science and medicine, and into the realm of mythology. The discourse is controlled by powerful individuals and institutions with a professional or financial stake in HIV, who take it upon themselves to be the sole purveyors of 'truth.' Government institutions have compounded the difficulty of arriving at a true understanding of AIDS by doing everything in their power to suppress the views of scientists who disagree with established opinions.” (Rasnick, 1997)

Rodney Richards, PhD, is an organic chemist.  He has worked as an independent research scientist studying the relationship between viruses and disease with a major focus on developments in testing technologies.  During the mid-1980s, he worked for Amgen Inc. and Abbott Laboratories, helping them develop the first generation of HIV antibody tests.

In 2003, Richards stated, "There are at least 30 tests marketed to test for HIV.  None of them are approved by the FDA to diagnose the presence or absence of HIV. ... The FDA and manufacturers clearly state that the significance of testing positive on the Elisa and Western Blot [HIV antibody] test is unknown. ... To date, no researcher has demonstrated how HIV kills T-cells.  It's just a theory that keeps money flowing into the pharmaceutical approach to treating AIDS." (Scheff, 2003)

Michael Tracey, PhD, is professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He has written widely on many different aspects of media and communication, but most notably dealing with the history, condition and future of public service broadcasting.  From 1991 to 1998 he was a Trustee of the International Institute of Communications, and from 1994 to 1999, visiting professor and Chair of International Communications at the University of Salford, England.

In his Inaugural Lecture as Chair at the University of Salford in 1995, Tracey applied his expertise in media analysis to examine the shaping of the public discourse on AIDS, criticizing the “construction of a way of seeing AIDS that was not open to questioning, either by the media or the ‘ordinary’ citizen” and “the sheer venom of the assault [launched on Duesberg]”.  He concluded, “What we see within the orthodoxy of AIDS is something more akin to an act of faith, a theology in an age when intolerant fundamentalism is rampant, where to question is to be heretical , and where to be heretical is to be banished.” (Tracey, 1995)

Valendar Turner, MD, is an emergency physician who has worked at the Royal Perth Hospital, a teaching hospital in western Australia.  He was a member of the South African Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel convened by Thabo Mbeki in 2000**.

In collaboration with Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and their colleagues at Perth, Turner has questioned the isolation (purification) of HIV itself and the alleged specificity of the Western Blot antibody test (Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1993a, Papadopulos-Eleopulos et al., 1993b).  In 1997, he stated, “The trouble is so many of us, doctors included, accept the validity of the HIV theory and all the tests because of big names and big institutions. In good faith I must add, but nonetheless without checking up for themselves or asking questions. Well, they're not usually the ones told they're infected with a lethal retrovirus. So patients must be their own advocates and thereby influence public opinion towards the debate.” (Christie, 1997)

 

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