Statement by Robert S. Roote-Bernstein,
Associate Professor of Physiology, Michigan State University,
East Lansing, MI (as appeared in Policy Review, Fall 1990).

Professor Roote-Bernstein is, like Professor Duesberg, a member of a select group of twenty-three chosen by the National Cancer Institute as the most brilliant scientists in America, and as such is the recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Grant.

"Lest readers of Duesberg and Ellison's article claiming that HIV is not the cause of AIDS think that the authors are lone wolves crying in the wilderness, let me add my voice to the growing chorus. While I am not convinced that HIV is irrelevant to understanding AIDS-after all it is highly correlated with the syndrome--I am not convinced that it is any more important than other immunosuppressive agents associated with AIDS. On the contrary, I believe existing evidence demonstrates that HIV is neither necessary nor sufficient to cause AIDS.

"First, data linking HIV to AIDS are nowhere near as good as the public are led to believe. Reference to the Centers for Disease Control's own data reveals that 5 percent of AIDS patients tested for HIV never display signs of infection, and that less than 50 percent of AIDS patients have been tested for HIV.

"Recently, cases of homosexual men with AIDS and without HIV infections have been verified. In response, HIV proponents are lobbying for a change in the definition of AIDS to exclude HIV-free cases. These people do not, apparently, understand two things: 1) that defining AIDS by HIV and simultaneously demonstrating that HIV causes AIDS is tautological, and therefore bankrupt, reasoning; and 2) that altering the definition of AIDS does not alter the fact that HIV-free people can and do develop the same set of opportunistic infections as those who are HIV-infected. Whether these HIV-free cases are listed as AIDS patients or not, they are still medical patients whose syndrome is in need of explanation. Logically, HIV is not, therefore, necessary to cause the development of these symptoms, and other causes of what we now call AIDS must exist.