Allegations That HIV Created by NIH Special Virus Cancer Program Are False, GAO Says
The General Accounting Office has released an analysis stating that there is no evidence that the National Cancer Institute's Special Virus Cancer Program created HIV. The report was requested by Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio), who received an allegation from a constituent that SVCP had used the visna virus, which causes illness and death in sheep, to develop HIV. GAO researchers examined the overall stated purpose and outcomes of SVCP; scientific assessments of the origins of HIV, including a 2000 study published in Science that found that HIV was likely transferred to humans before 1955 from a subspecies of chimpanzees infected with simian immunodeficiency virus; and the outcome of litigation in 1999 and 2000 that dismissed allegations that the federal government developed an agent that subsequently became known as AIDS (GAO letter, 6/17). Slides summarizing the GAO analysis are available online.This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.