HIV/AIDS Skepticism

Pointing to evidence that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS

Echt, ersatz, or fake? “HIV” “virions” budding from a cell! Electron micrographed!

Posted by Henry Bauer on 2009/07/19

AIDS Rethinkers and HIV Skeptics enjoy pointing out that genuine (“echt”) virions of HIV have never been obtained directly from an “HIV-positive” person nor from an AIDS patient, not even in “late-stage” “HIV disease” when those “HIV” virions supposedly reign supreme in massive amounts. The attempted answers that HIV/AIDS groupies come up with tend toward the pitiful.

One of them suggested I look at the NIH website that offers specimens of HIV for researchers to use:
“Is there any reason why you don’t want your readers to know that numerous isolates of HIV are available free of charge at and”

The reason I don’t choose to publicize this, of course, is that these so-called “isolates” are the same old extracts, from cultures in which all sorts of stuff has been mixed together, obtained by taking “bands” of material characterized only by having a density of 1.16 g/ml; and those bands have been shown by electron microscopy to be a motley mixture of all sorts of things (Bess et al., “Microvesicles are a source of contaminating cellular proteins found in purified HIV-1 preparations”, Virology 230 [1997] 134-44; Gluschankof et al., “Cell membrane vesicles are a major contaminant of gradient-enriched human immunodeficiency virus type-1 preparations”, ibid., 230: 125-33). No direct isolation of pure virions from “HIV-positive” people or AIDS patients here.

Others have pointed to electron micrographs of apparently pure “HIV” virions published by Layne et al., Virology 189 [1992] 695-714, perhaps overlooking that paper’s title: “Factors underlying spontaneous inactivation and susceptibility to neutralization of human immunodeficiency virus”. These researchers had synthesized “a molecular clone” of “HIV”. In other words, they put together what they thought an “HIV” genome is and what “HIV” proteins are and created particles of which between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 10,000,000 were “infectious” — which means only that they could be reproduced by the same culturing process, not that they were capable of actually infecting a human being. Those Frankenstein virions self-destructed with a half-life of 30-40 hours. Anyway, synthesizing isn’t the point; one day we’ll also re-create a woolly mammoth by putting our idea of its genome into a suitable elephant’s egg, or something of the sort, but that won’t make it an echt mammoth. Cloned “HIV” is no substitute for direct isolation of virions from “HIV-positive” people or AIDS patients. If virions have never been found in AIDS patients or “HIV-positive” people, how can we ever know for sure that they actually exist there?

Imagine that you take big magnets and continually sweep them through the junkyards where former automobiles rest. You’ll always bring out the same sorts of certain bits: gears, levers, shock-absorber parts, etc. They’re not all EXACTLY identical, but they have a family resemblance to one another, no matter where the junkyard is; even in other countries, there’ll still be a family resemblance, though it may be of a somewhat different “strain”. You concentrate on what seem to be the universally shared elements, and claim that they come from automobiles that actually exist in those yards in functioning form. Your magnets, goes the claim, are actually detecting intact cars.

Louis Hissink, who has an interesting website that features some unpopular views about cosmology, ancient history, and economics, alerted me to yet another remarkable claim: a series of colored transmission electron micrographs on the National Geographic web-site showing an “HIV” virion actually budding from a cell!


I was surprised that one of the HIV/AIDS groupies had not already dumbfounded me with this conclusive evidence of the veritable existence of echt “HIV”. But then I remembered some of what I used to know about electron microscopy: specimens to be examined by that technique are ultra-thin sections of material “fixed” in some manner to withstand the nearly absolute vacuum that allows electron beams to serve as the “light” source to illuminate the specimen. You can’t do electron microscopy in situ, in vivo. Ergo, those 4 pictures cannot be an echt sequence. Moreover, the odds would be impossibly against capturing such a sequence by preparing a series of specimens: how lucky would you have to be to catch the “budding virus” at just the right moments?

I sent an inquiry to the National Geographic website and was referred to Photo Researchers, who are credited for these images. They responded:

“The photo you listed is represented by our stock agency here in the US. The copyright owner is actually based in Germany and they have many agents selling the piece worldwide.
The only sales we have here in the US have been the Nat. Geo. you linked to and a sale to ‘Junior Scholastic’ back in 2006. Due to the vast distribution of the image there is the distinct possibility that this image has been used in a wide variety of places.”


“These are certainly TEM’s [transmission electron micrographs]… but with a few caveats.   First, they have been (obviously) colorized from the original B/W.  Second, this is not a true sequence in that we are not seeing the same virus particle. And third, the cell was repeated in the bottom two frames to create the effect of a sequence.

So I guess in the end they can be considered ‘computer manipulated’ but the base images (virus particles and cell) are true TEM in origin.”

There you have the sort of utterly misleading stuff that’s propagated about HIV/AIDS — no doubt with the best intentions in the world — by people and groups like National Geographic that see themselves as disseminating useful and educational material. In actual fact, images of this sort make the public at large believe that “HIV” has been proven to exist. Just Google “HIV” for “Images” and you can be regaled with a cornucopia of beautifully colored computer-graphic art-work that has no verifiable basis in reality.

14 Responses to “Echt, ersatz, or fake? “HIV” “virions” budding from a cell! Electron micrographed!”

  1. Sabine Kalitzkus said


    Zealots who suggest to obtain “HIV” “isolates” free of charge should be reminded of the 1973 rules for how to isolate a retrovirus — created by the world’s leading retrovirologists, one of them being Luc Montagnier.

    • SkepticThough said

      What interests me about this “viral budding” theory is that though the supposed HIV particle exits from the T-cell, the T-cell remains, apparently, alive and well. Just how many “viral budds” are required to kill a T-cell, if this is, in fact, the alleged means by which HIV kills T-cells? If viral budding does not kill T-cells, and is merely the method by which HIV propagates, then what significance is it to the “inevitable” destruction of the immune system?

      • Henry Bauer said

        One of the ugly little secrets of HIV/AIDS theory is that they don’t know how HIV kills T-cells:
        Your comment illustrates why the present “hand-waving” about T-cell-trophic and budding, etc., makes no sense. A current shibboleth is “immune activation” is the mechanism, again without explaining exactly how that’s supposed to function as a specific T-cell-killer.

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer,

        In Peter Duesberg’s writings, “HIV” is grown in immortal T-Cells. Therefore, HIV doesn’t kill T-Cells. But if that’s true, HIV should be easy to isolate because it’s so “available”. Ha!

      • Henry Bauer said

        Martin: You mean in Gallo’s writings? In the Parenzee trial, Gallo said that he was able to prepare “HIV” in such large quantities that it wasn’t even necessary to purify it — mass production was better than purification!

      • Martin said

        Hi Dr. Bauer, Gallo “knows” that as one of the original “authorities” on AIDS, he could (and still can) say anything he wanted to on the subject and no one of authority (like a judge) would question him. At the Parenzee trial, his word was taken as gospel whether it was actually true or not (mostly not).

        Here is a quote from a paper I got on Virus Myth written by Duesberg and Bialy in 1995: “(1) Until HIV appeared on the scene, retroviruses did not kill their host cells. This is the reason they were considered possible tumor viruses. Since retroviruses integrate their genes into the chromosome of the host, they can only replicate as long as the host survives integration and remains able to express integrated viral genes. Therefore a cytocidal retrovirus would be suicidal. Indeed, HIV proved to be non-cytocidal. It is mass-produced for the “AIDS-test” in immortal T-cells in culture at titers of 10^6 infectious units per ml [37,38]. Luc Montagnier and others have confirmed that HIV does not kill T-cells [39-42]. Hence the claim that HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells is paradoxical.”
        Duesberg got his information from other papers in the field — they were by Rubenstein (37), and Karpas (38).

      • Henry Bauer said

        Martin: Thanks, that quote from Duesberg and Bialy is a very clear and concise explanation; it shows why SkepticThough can point to impossibilities in the orthodox claims about HIV as killer.
        The Montagnier work has been disgracefully overlooked. “HIV” doesn’t kill in the presence of antibiotics. But antibiotics do not protect against viruses, including retroviruses. That’s why Montagnier has always insisted that “HIV” needs “co-factors”, and his candidate for the real killer is a mycoplasma —Lemaître, M., D. Guetard, Y. Henin, L. Montagnier, and A. Zerial. 1990. Protective activity of tetracycline analogs against the cytopathic effect of the human immunodeficiency viruses in CEM cells. Research in Virology 141:5–16.

  2. Martin said

    HIV isolates are the modern version of Holy Water. Holy Water is consecrated H2O and has special properties. Formerly, those who doubted this were heretics and were appropriately punished. HIV isolates are consecrated blood, we are supposed to believe this because of the ceremonial ritual of the ELISA/Western Blot (the modern version of consecration), and has special properties. Those who doubt this are vilified as denialists.
    As Thomas Szasz said: “Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.”

  3. Dave said

    Simple, simple question to AIDS zealots:

    Can we take a sample of Magic Johnson’s blood and find the virus? If so, has it been done? If not, why not?

  4. Johan said

    HIV has never been isolated according to the standards put forth by AIDS Rethinkers. So what viruses have actually been properly isolated and been shown to be a cause of a disease? In her book “Fear of the Invisible”, Janine Roberts highlights this problem and it seems like there have been no properly isolated viruses.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Johan: I’m no virologist, and I haven’t read the book, but I’ve seen the photos of electron micrographs of tobacco mosaic virus, for example, and of the Friend virus. TMV was even crystallized.

  5. Tony said

    Essentially the same canned pictures show up in Scientific American, September 2009, page 91. The problem with presenting these pictures is they seem to lend credibility to what are clearly little more than photoshopped images.

    • Henry Bauer said

      Tony: Yes. The publication of these images without clearly describing them as artistic creations is scandalous.

  6. Tony said

    The challenge with each of these pictures is determining its source. I just had someone point out another one to me ( — specifically the image on the right side of the article, The caption itself is priceless: “This thin-section transmission electron micrograph depicted the ultrastructural details of two ‘human immunodeficiency virus’ (HIV) virus particles, or virions. (Credit: CDC/Dr. A. Harrison; Dr. P. Feorino)”

    It left me curious — why do they put human immunodeficiency virus in quotations? And why is it a depiction and not the actual thing? Of course, maybe I’m over-reading this (I’m not a virologist and my one undergraduate biology class in virology hardly counts for much at this late date.)

    So, I’m left with either yet one more fake picture or a real picture of something that is what they claim it to be — but how does one go about validating a picture like this? Any and all suggestions are most welcome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: