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The Secret Origin of AIDS and HIV

By Alan Cantwell, Jr., M.D.

How scientists produced the most horrifying plague of all time--and then covered it up.

The Green Monkey Theory

Many people have heard the theory that AIDS is man-made. Thirty percent of New York City blacks polled by The New York Times (October 29, 1990) actually believe AIDS is an "ethnic weapon" designed in a laboratory to infect and kill black people. Some people even think the AIDS conspiracy theory is more plausible than the African Green monkey theory promoted by the leading AIDS scientists.

Actually, the monkey theory was proven wrong by researchers as far back as 1988, but most AIDS educators continued to promote it to the public until recently. In a media blitz in 1999, the green monkey theory was totally replaced by the chimpanzee "out of Africa" theory, and the chimp origin of AIDS was fully accepted by the scientific community. A phylogenetic "family tree" of primate viruses (which few people could understand) was presented to prove that HIV was descended from a primate virus in the African bush. Analysis of virus genetic data performed by the "supercomputer" at Los Alamos in New Mexico indicated that HIV had "jumped species" from a chimp to a human around the year 1930 in Africa. (Los Alamos is the official home of nuclear bomb-building, alleged Chinese spies, and the laboratory which directed secret human radiation experiments on unsuspecting civilians from the 1940s up to the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.)

At the international AIDS conference held in 2000 in South Africa, one scientist claimed the chimpanzee virus (SIVcpz) was "ancient" and jumped species as early as 1675 but didn't establish itself in the human population until 1930. This was dutifully reported by science writer Laurie Garrett, who give all the time-honored reasons for the rapid spread of AIDS in Africa: non-sterile needles, non-sterile blood products and widespread promiscuous sexual behavior.

The Special Virus Cancer Program (1962-1977)

Conveniently forgotten by scientists and medical journalists was the fact that surgeons had been transplanting chimpanzee parts into human beings for decades. When Keith Reemtsma died in June 2000, at age 74, he was hailed as a pioneer in cross-species organ transplants (now known as xenotransplantation). By 1964 he had already placed six chimpanzee kidneys into six patients. All his patients died, but eventually Reemtsma succeeded in many successful human-to-human organ transplants.

Much more likely to have spread animal viruses to human beings is the largely forgotten Special Virus Cancer Program (SVCP). This research program was responsible for the development, the seeding, and the deployment of various animal viruses, which were capable of producing cancer and immune system damage when transferred between animal species and into human cells and tissue.

The SVCP began in 1964 as a government-funded program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland. Originally designed to study leukemia and lymphoma forms of cancer, the program was soon enlarged to study all forms of cancer.

The SVCP marshaled many of the nation's finest virologists, biochemists, immunologists, molecular biologists, and epidemiologists, at the most prestigious institutions in a coordinated attempt to assess the role of viruses in causing human cancer. Many of the top AIDS scientists, including Dr. Robert Gallo (the co-discoverer of HIV), Myron (Max) Essex (of "cat AIDS" fame), and Peter Duesberg (who claims HIV is not the cause of AIDS), were connected with the Program.

The scope of the program was international and included scientists from Japan, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, and even Uganda, Africa. A main mission of the SVCP was to collect various human and animal cancers from around the world and to grow large amounts of cancer-causing viruses.

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In the process, many animal viruses were adapted to human cells. These cultured viruses would then be shipped to researchers throughout the world. An annual report of the accomplishments of the SVCP was published by the NCI.

The 1971 SVCR report indicates a mouse leukemia virus had been adapted to grow in human cells. A "hybrid virus" - a mixture of a mouse sarcoma and a cat (feline) leukemia virus - was engineered and grown in cat cells. Chicken and feline retroviruses produced cancer in monkeys. Mouse-cat virus hybrids and feline leukemia virus were adapted to human cells in tissue culture. Thus, "species jumping" was a common occurrence in these experiments.

Biological Warfare, Primate Research and the SVCP

Also joining forces with the SVCP at the NCI were the miltary's biological warfare researchers. On October 18, 1971, President Richard Nixon announced that the army's biowarfare laboratories at nearby Fort Detrick, Maryland, would be converted to research on the cause, prevention, and treatment of cancer. As part of Nixon's so-called War on Cancer, the military biowarfare unit was retitled the new Frederick Cancer Research Center. Litton Bionetics was named as the military's prime contractor for this project.

The 1971 annual report noted that one of the primary tasks of the now jointly connected National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research Center was "the large scale production of oncogenic (cancer-causing) and suspected oncogenic viruses to meet research needs on a continuing basis." Special attention was given to primate viruses (the alleged African source of HIV) and "the successful propagation of significant amounts of human candidate viruses."

Candidate viruses were animal or human viruses that might be capable of initiating human cancers. And primate cancer-causing viruses were adapted to 'normal' human cells.

A steady supply of research animals (monkeys, chimpanzees, mice, and cats) was necessary, which resulted in the establishment of breeding colonies for the SVCP. Healthy animals were shipped in from various parts of the world for breeding purposes and experimentation; and virus-infected animals were shipped out again to various labs.

By 1971, a total of 2,274 primates had been inoculated at Bionetics Research Laboratories, under contract to Fort Detrick. Over 1000 of these monkeys had already died or had been transferred to other primate centers. (Some animals were eventually released back into the wild).

By this time, experimenters had spread lymphoma-producing viruses into several species of monkeys, and had also isolated a monkey virus (Herpesvirus saimiri) that would have a close genetic relationship to a new Kaposi's sarcoma virus that produced the "gay cancer" of AIDS a few years later.

In order to prime primates and other research animals to acquire cancer, their immune system was deliberately suppressed by drugs, radiation, or cancer-causing chemicals or substances. The thymus gland and/or the spleen was removed, and viruses were injected into newborn animals or into the womb of pregnant animals. Some animals were also injected with malaria to keep them chronically sick and immunodepressed.

Primates (especially newborn and baby chimpanzees) were the most favored lab animals because they were most similar biochemically and immunologically to human beings, and because there would be no official testing of these lab viruses on humans. An irradiated rhesus monkey colony supplied animals for transplantation experiments.

Robert Gallo was a project officer of a primate study contracted by Bionetics that pumped cancerous human tissue, as well as a variety of chicken and monkeys viruses into newborn macaques (a small species of monkey). This 1971 SVCP report (NIH-71-2025) declared: "Inasmuch as tests for the biological activity of candidate human viruses will not be tested in the human species, it is imperative that another system be developed for these determinations and, subsequently for the evaluation of vaccines or other measure of control. The close phylogenetic relationship of the lower primates of man justifies utilization of these animals for these purposes."

Researchers at Bionetics evaluated the long-term cancer effects of injecting human and animal cancer material into various species of monkeys. Newborn monkeys, irradiated monkeys, and monkeys primed with cancer-causing chemicals, were injected with blood ("using multiple sites and volumes as large as possible") taken from various forms of human leukemia.

In other studies, tissue cultures infected with various animal viruses were inoculated into primates. Many kinds of human cancer tissue were injected into the animals. How many "new" and "emerging" viruses were created and adapted by the SVCP is not known. And it is unlikely that complete records of this animal cancer virus experimentation will ever be examined.

Cats were also bred for leukemia and sarcoma cancer studies. An inbred germfree colony of mice was established. Mouse cancer viruses were manipulated to produce resistant and non-resistant strains. These adapted viruses would be employed in the 1980s in human gene replacement experiments. Such experiments utilized a weakened strain of the mouse leukemia virus to infect and "taxi-in" the missing genes to genetically-defective human cells.

The End of the SVCP and the Birth of AIDS

By 1977 the SVCP came to a inglorious end. According to Gallo, "Scientifically, the problem was that no one could supply clear evidence of any kind of human tumor virus, not even a DNA virus, and most researchers refused to concede that viruses played any role in human cancers.

Politically, the Virus Cancer Program was vulnerable because it attracted a great deal of money and attention and had failed to produce dramatic, visible results."
acantwell.jpg - 5.78 K Dr. Alan Cantwell

Despite all this, the SCVP was the birthplace of genetic engineering, molecular biology, and the human genome project. More than any other program it built up the field of animal retrovirology, which led to the vital understanding of cancer and immunosuppressive retroviruses in humans. Like manna from heaven, AIDS in gays put the virologists back in business. And HIV, a cancer-causing and immunosuppressive retrovirus, would make Robert Gallo the most famous scientist in the world.

Few people understand clearly that AIDS is a new form of cancer, and this aspect of AIDS has not been publicized for obvious reasons. Physicians have always told their patients that cancer is not contagious or sexually transmitted.

Virologists wanted AIDS and "gay cancer" to be a new disease because HIV was supposedly brand new. It was easier to blame gays for initiating this new disease with their sexual lifestyle than it was to point the finger at scientists.

And if AIDS was connected to animal cancer research, some people might wonder if the new disease had anything to do with all those species jumping experiments in the 1970s. Making people understand that AIDS is cancer would only confuse them.

And so, instead of looking for the source of HIV in the thousands of animal cancer experiments performed througout the world, the virologists insisted on looking for the source of the virus in primates in the African rainforest.

The Pre-AIDS Gay Hepatitis B Experiments (1978-1981)

As the SVCP was winding down, thousands of gay men were signing up as guinea pigs for government-sponsored hepatitis B vaccine experiments in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In a few years these cities would become the epicenters for "gay-related immune deficiency syndrome, " later known as AIDS.

Could virus-contaminated vaccines lie at the root of AIDS? In the early 1970s the hepatitis B vaccine was developed in chimpanzees, now widely accepted as the animal from which HIV supposedly evolved.

To this day, some people are fearful about taking the hepatitis B vaccine because of its original connection to gay men and AIDS; and older physicians remember the original experimental hepatitis vaccine was made from the pooled blood serum of hepatitis-infected homosexuals.

Was HIV "introduced" into gays during these vaccine trials when thousands of homosexuals were injected in New York beginning in 1978, and in the West Coast cities in 1980-1981?

AIDS first erupted in gays living in New York City in 1979 a few months after the experiment began in Manhattan. The astounding and statistically significant fact is that 20% of the gay men who volunteered for the hepatitis B experiment in New York were discovered to be HIV-positive in 1980 (a year before AIDS became "official" in 1981).

This would mean that Manhattan men had the highest incidence of HIV anywhere in the world, including Africa, the supposed birthplace of HIV and AIDS. The fact is that definite, proven cases of AIDS in Africa would not appear until 1982.

Some researchers are convinced that these vaccine experiments served as the vehicle through which HIV was "introduced" into the gay population in America. Nevertheless, AIDS scientists have downplayed any connection of AIDS with the vaccine.

My own extensive research into the hepatitis B experiments is presented in AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic, published in 1988. Also included in this book is evidence suggesting patient Zero" story of 1987, which claimed a promiscuous gay Canadian airline steward brought AIDS to America. Montagnier "is doubtful that the American epidemic could have developed from a single patient."

Montagnier admits that he stands apart from Robert Gallo on many matters.

In a mind-blowing statement he declares "Gallo was not a medical doctor, but rather a biochemist by training. His limited experience with viruses at the time perhaps explains his misinterpretations and the contaminations that occurred in his laboratory." (Gallo has always declared himself as a physician. If he is not, then we certainly do have a conspiracy problem on our hands.)

What is obvious from their authored books is that while the continent of Africa dies, these two top scientists in AIDS research continue their vendetta in print, and continue to promote their own pet theories on the origin of HIV and AIDS to an adoring scientific community.

"Gay and Straight" Strains of HIV and Sexual Preference

It is common knowledge that AIDS is a heterosexual disease in Africa, and that AIDS started exclusively as a gay disease in the United States. Although the public was told early on that "no one is immune from AIDS", the fact remains that even now (20 years after the first AIDS cases) 80% of the new AIDS cases in America are gay men, IV drug addicts, and their sexual partners. Why is this? Certainly HIV does not discriminate between sexual preference and race! Or does it?

In the mid-1990s molecular biologists identified at least 8 different subtypes (or "clades" or "strains") of HIV that were infecting various people around the world. Remarkably, it turns out that the "B" strain is the predominant strain infecting gays in the U.S.

Even more remarkable is that this strain of HIV has an "affinity" to infect rectal tissue, thus explaining why gays are more likely to get AIDS than straights. In contrast, the HIV strains common in Africa have an affinity for vaginal and cervical cells, as well as for cells of the foreskin of the penis. Thus, HIV is more likely to infect heterosexuals in Africa.

How do we know this? Max Essex (a Harvard veterinarian who performed pre-AIDS experiments transferring feline leukemia virus between cat populations) tested subtype E strains of HIV from Thailand. He discovered that this Asian strain readily infected women's genital cells of the vagina and cervix.

But the "gay" B strain of HIV did not infect them as easily. AIDS experts tell us American AIDS came from Africa, but the strain of HIV prevalent in gay men is almost never seen in Africa! How is this possible?

Were strains of HIV engineered to adapt easily to cells likely to be infected in gay sex? Or adapted to genital cells involved in vaginal sex? We know scientists in the SVCP were able to adapt certain retroviruses to infect specific kinds of cells.

As early as 1970 biowarfare scientists were learning to design certain infectious agents (particularly viruses) that would attack the cells of certain racial groups.

More recently, in 1997, Stephen O'Brien and Michael Dean of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute have shown that one out of ten white people have AIDS-resistant genes, whereas blacks in Africa have none.

Is this simply another peculiarity of a virus that jumped species in the African bush? Or is HIV a designer virus, specifically adapted in its subtypes to infect certain racial groups and gay people?

When AIDS appeared in 1981, health officials assured the "general public" that there was nothing to fear. "AIDS is a gay disease" was the phrase repeated over and over again in a media blitz.

As late as 1987, Robert Gallo told Playboy reporter David Black, "I personally don't know of a single case (in America) of a man getting the (AIDS) virus from a woman through heterosexual intercourse."

In Africa, where AIDS affects men and women in equal numbers, Gallo's explanation to Black was: "It happens, but that may be due to differences in sexual practices, more promiscuity or to a greater incidence of venereal disease." Gallo give Playboy his reassurance of the future of heterosexual AIDS in America: "AIDS will never become an overwhelming danger to the general public."

Solving the Mystery of the Origin of AIDS

The pre-AIDS species jumping experiments of the Special Virus Cancer Program (SVCP) have been largely expunged from the history of HIV and AIDS. The viral contamination problems inherent in viral research have also been downplayed. As a result, the origin of HIV and AIDS has been distorted and obscured.

A serious examination of the SVCP provides "missing links" to the possible laboratory origin of HIV. The ability of SVCP scientists to produce "new" diseases with cancer-causing animal viruses is a matter of record. The ability of animal viruses to easily contaminate laboratory experiments and vaccine manufacture is also well known. All these factors make the man-made theory of AIDS rational and compelling.

Some areas of HIV/AIDS history that require further analysis are:

The connection between AIDS and cancer. The connection of HIV to known (pre-AIDS) animal cancer lab viruses. The connection of the SVCP to the outbreak of AIDS. The connection of vaccine programs to the outbreak of AIDS. The connection of biological warfare research to the outbreak of AIDS. The disinformation surrounding the origin of AIDS. The disinformation blaming the "victims" of AIDS for the disease. The total secrecy of biological warfare and its implications for science. The wedding of cancer and AIDS scientists to biological warfare scientists. The "sworn to secrecy" problem of the government/military scientists. The wedding of government to medical science for military b/w purposes. The long history of secret medical experiments on unsuspecting citizens.

All these factors need to be explored more fully and impartially in order to more fully elucidate the man-made, laboratory origin of HIV and AIDS.

To continue to ignore these issues is to ignore the fate of countless millions who will die from AIDS and other "emerging viruses" in the future.

The Special Virus Cancer Program (and biowarfare experimentation worldwide) has forever changed the course of history of medical science, resulting in the current dangers of biological terrorism and the fear of newly emerging man-made viruses and other infectious agents.

To study the theories of origin of HIV/AIDS and to ignore the SVCP with its biowarfare implications is like studying the Holocaust and failing to mention the Nazis. Some readers may find this analogy offensive, but in light of the close connection of the SVCP with the outbreak of HIV and AIDS, it is suggested that final judgement be reserved until all the pertinent facts are ascertained.

The SVCP and "the hand of man" lie at the root of HIV. The flowering of the worldwide epidemic of AIDS is proof that the seeds were well planted.
References: Butel JS: Simian virus 40, poliovirus vaccines, and human cancer: research progress versus media and public interests. Bulletin World Health Organization 78:195-198, 2000. Cantwell Jr, A: AIDS & The Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic. Los Angeles: Aries Rising Press, 1988. Cantwell Jr, A: Queer Blood: The Secret AIDS Genocide Plot. Los Angeles: Aries Rising Press, 1993. Cantwell AR Jr: “Bacteriologic investigation and histologic observations of variably acid-fast bacteria in three cases of Kaposi's sarcoma.” Growth 45: 79-89, 1981. Cantwell AR Jr: Kaposi's sarcoma and variably acid-fast bacteria in vivo in two homosexual men. Cutis 32: 58-64,68, 1983. Cantwell AR Jr: The Cancer Microbe. Los Angeles: Aries Rising Press, 1990. Cantwell AR Jr: "Gay cancer, emerging viruses, and AIDS." New Dawn (Melbourne), Sept 1998. Connor S: "AIDS science on trial." New Scientist, February 12, 1987, pp 49-58. Faden RR (Chair): The Human Radiation Experiments: Final Report of the President's Advisory Committee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. Gallo R: Virus Hunting: AIDS, Cancer and the Human Retrovirus. New York: Basic Books, 1991. Garrett L: "AIDS virus traced to 1675." Newsday, July 11,2000. Gold M: A Conspiracy of Cells. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1986 Hatch R: Cancer Warfare. Covert Action Bulletin 39, Winter, 1991. "HIV sub-types showing signs of spreading differently," All Things Considered (NPR), 10-02-1995. Hooper E: The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1999 Horowitz LG: Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola. Rockport, MA: Tetrahedron Publishing Group, 1996. Larson CA: Ethnic weapons. Military Review, Nov 1970, pp 3-11. Ljungqvist KI: AIDS Tabu. Stockholm: Carlssons Bokforlag, 1992. Mathew A, Ennis FA, Rothman AL: Transient decreases in human T cell proliferative responses following vaccinia immunization. Clin Immunol 96: 100-107, 2000. Montagnier L: Virus. New York: WW Norton Co, Inc, 2000. O'Brien SJ, Dean M: In search of AIDS-resistence genes. Scientific American, September 1997, pp 28-35. O'Brien TR, Kedes D, Gamem D, et al: Evidence for concurrent epidemics of human herpesvirus 8, and human immunodeficiency virus type I in US homosexual men: rates, risk factors, and relationship to Kaposi's sarcoma. J Infectious Disease 180: 1010-1017, 1999. Special Virus Cancer Program (Progress Report #8). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, July 1971. Special Virus Cancer Program (Progress Report #9). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, July 1972. Stevens CE, Taylor PE, Zang EA, et al: Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III infection in a cohort of homosexual men in New York City. JAMA 255; 2167-2172, 1986. Quinnan GV Jr (Ed): Vaccinia Viruses as Vectors for Vaccine Antigens. New York: Elsevier, 1985.

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Acknowledgement: I am grateful to Robert E Lee, Vincent Gammill, Billi Goldberg, and Boyd "Ed" Graves, for their contributions of research material for this study.

[Dr. Cantwell is a medical researcher and author of AIDS & The Doctors of Death, and Queer Blood, both published by Aries Rising Press, PO Box 29532, Los Angeles, CA 90029, USA. These books are available on the Internet at, Barnes & Noble, or through mail order at Book Clearing House @ 1-800-431-1579. ]
Copyright 2000 Alan Cantwell, Jr., M.D.

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