In particular I am interested with one specific claim made by Jody Wells Memorial Prize.

Is his claim true and reasonable? I'll explain what I mean by reasonable latter.

The organisers of the Jody Wells Memorial Prize say it hasn't:

The rules for isolation of a retrovirus were thoroughly discussed at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1973, and are the logical minimum requirements for establishing the independent existence of HIV. They are:

  1. Culture of putatively infected tissue.

  2. Purification of specimens by density gradient ultracentrifugation.

  3. Electron micrographs of particles exhibiting the morphological characteristics and dimensions (100-120 nm) of retroviral particles at the sucrose (or percoll) density of 1.16 gm/ml and containing nothing else, not even particles of other morphologies or dimensions.

  4. Proof that the particles contain reverse transcriptase.

  5. Analysis of the particles' proteins and RNA and proof that these are unique.

  6. Proof that 1-5 are a property only of putatively infected tissues and can not be induced in control cultures. These are identical cultures, that is, tissues obtained from matched, unhealthy subjects and cultured under identical conditions differing only in that they are not putatively infected with a retrovirus.

  7. Proof that the particles are infectious, that is when PURE particles are introduced into an uninfected culture or animal, the identical particle is obtained as shown by repeating steps 1-5.

I want to know if the article is misleading, etc.

  1. Was the HIV virus isolated?
  2. Are the 7 rules cited in the competition reasonable? Can scientists do these for other viruses? Or have the authors just created an arbitrarily impossible step to make a point?

For example, say humans can isolate most virus but not HIV, then the claim is reasonable. However, if the 7 rules is equivalent of finding actual photograph of HIV virus hugging Elvis, which is not doable for all other virus or not, then the rules are not reasonable.

While I really want to know whether HIV causes AIDS or not, I am not asking this. I am asking for one of their subclaims that is much easier to verify or check.

To make this clear:

I should clarify that. In this question I am asking a specific claim. The website requires 7 rules to satisfy him that he claimed not to have been full filled. I want to know whether the claim is true and reasonable.

  • This is related to, but not an exact duplicate of my old question about Koch's postulates and HIV: skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/269/… – Mad Scientist Sep 12 '12 at 6:35
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    If you really want to know if HIV causes AIDS, why not look at the existing question asking exactly that. – Oddthinking Sep 12 '12 at 6:54
  • Very good objection. I should clarify that. In this question I am asking a specific claim. The website requires 7 rules to satisfy him that he claimed not to have been full filled. – user4951 Sep 12 '12 at 8:31
  • Have you seen the documentary 'The Emporer's New Virus: An Analysis of the Evidence for the Existence of HIV'? These scientists seem to explain why it hasn't been purified and also discuss isolation. It has interviews from the discovers of HIV and other leading scientists. – user25344 Mar 11 '15 at 8:07
  • I don't see that standards from 1973 are too relevant these days. They can sequence the virus, it doesn't matter if it's isolated or not. – Loren Pechtel Mar 12 '15 at 3:14

This article mentions that

HIV-1 transmission in humans results most commonly from virus exposure at mucosal surfaces (1). For practical reasons, it has been impossible to identify and characterize by direct analytical methods HIV-1 at or near the moment of transmission, yet it is this virus that antibody or cell-based vaccines must interdict.

Which would seem to imply that the strict rules shown in the question have not been satisfied.

However in this paper the methods section contains subsections on:

  1. Virus and cell culture
  2. Endogenous RT assay (Reverse Transcriptase)
  3. Sucrose gradient analysis
  4. Electron microscopy

Which seems to satisfy the majority of the requirements. They don't show re-infection of a human host with the cultured virus particles, but that would hardly be ethical to carry out! (And might not happen even if you did, due to the virus being grown in vitro for several generations, the virus might have lost the ability to infect in vivo.)

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