No help from Gallo on HIV tests
Posted by Henry Bauer on 2011/02/17
The boxer Tommy Morrison, after a mandatory pre-fight test, was told in 1996 that he was HIV-positive and would therefore not be permitted to continue with his boxing career. Subsequently he has claimed to have had a number of negative tests, and to have learned that the tests do not diagnose actual infection anyway.
Morrison has now scheduled a fight in Canada on February 25th. To demonstrate that he is not infected with HIV, he wants to take a test that is guaranteed capable of detecting actual virus, veritable infection. He has asked publicly that Robert Gallo advise him as to the existence and availability of such a test. In mass-mailed e-mails, Morrison has complained about Gallo’s failure to respond. For example, he wrote recently to Gallo’s assistant:
From: Tommy Morrison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RESEND Re: RESEND…URGENT RESEND -Re: RESEND… resend…Fw: HIV VIRUS TEST VERY IMPORTANT Dr.Gallo please respond.
Date: Thursday, February 3, 2011, 11:39 PM
I appreciate DR Gallo is a busy man…but would it be possible to please have a reply?..perhaps you can direct me
to a website with the information I need being: a 100% accurate test detecting the presence or absence of the HIV VIRUS ? along with a copy of the scientific papers so that the local doctor can identify the VIRUS?
If Dr Gallo can tell me WHICH test to take to detect the presence of the HIV VIRUS – that’s all I need………..
So far the only response he has received has been indirect, via Jean-Marc Emond, Director of Operations for SP PROMOTION, a boxing firm in Quebec:
De : “Grannell, Nora” <NGrannell@ihv.umaryland.edu>
À : Jean-Marc Emond <email@example.com>
Envoyé le : Lun 24 janvier 2011, 12h 38min 49s
Objet : RE: HIV TEST VERY IMPORTANT
Dear Mr. Emond,
Dr. Gallo believes that the HIV tests are highly accurate and that Morrison was properly diagnosed as HIV-infected.
Director, Public Relations & Marketing
Institute of Human Virology
University of Maryland School of Medicine
725 W Lombard St., S307
Baltimore, MD 21201
Of course, that tests are “highly accurate” does not mean that they can be relied upon to detect active infection, let alone with any certainty. I would rank this evasive Gallo statement on an intellectual par (i.e., intellectual garbage) with his assertion in the Parenzee case that there was no need for him to purify “isolated” HIV because his cultures produced it in such profusion as to make impurities irrelevant.
For discussion pertinent to the Morrison story, see Terry Michael’s piece in the Montreal Gazette and subsequent comments.