I gave up on Edward Hooper
's tome The River: A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS
after reading 380 out of its 1000+ pages. It's a well-written and exhaustively research
, but it goes into excessive detail.
The fundamental hypothesis
is fascinating. Hooper argues that early applications of the polio vaccine
may have introduced AIDS
into the human
population. Certain monkey
s and chimpanzee
s have simian immunodeficiency virus
's), which are genetically similar to HIV
. Some oral polio vaccines were generated by passaging the polio virus
through primate kidney
s. Hooper investigates whether a polio vaccine, contaminated with SIV's, may have transferred the virus to humanity
sounds plausible, though the evidence
supporting it is circumstantial. For example, the geographic
region and time period where AIDS first appeared coincides with the large-scale testing
of one variety of the polio vaccine.
However, the scientific
and medical establishment
attacks the theory vehemently. As an outsider, it's difficult to tell whether the criticisms are justified.