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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting thoroughly well researched book., 11 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS (Penguin Science) (Paperback)
The River is a thoroughly researched and detailed book. It contains a great deal of medical terminology which makes it difficult for the lay person to read. However it is worth persevering with and does provide guidance with over 200 pages of notes. The basic premise of the book is that during the 1950's SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus-prevalent in chimpanzees ) was transferred to humans via experimental polio vaccines resulting in HIV and AIDS. Hooper traces the origin of HIV looking at the first truly authenticated cases and tries to follow a path (The River) back to them and the origin of the transmission. He appears successful in most cases although it is impossible in very early cases as no tissue samples are left (or made available). Perhaps the most interesting parts of the book are in his discussions with the scientists who created the early polio vaccines. As expected they deny that this is a possibility but as the picture builds the finger appears to point evermore in their direction.This is especially clear when it is shown that the creaton of polio vaccines in chimpanzee kidneys was not 100% safe.The genetic origins of HIV show a definite jump from monkey to man occurred. If you have an interest in the origin of HIV and AIDS then this book is definitely worth reading.It is long and can become complicated but the story of HIV/AIDS has never had a simple history.There have been so many theories from so many places that the waters became very muddied. Hooper has helped to clear the waters and has identified the most probable origin of HIV.He has backed it up with thorough research and only time will tell if he is correct.Well worth reading. Stephen Humphries
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very, veyr important piece of work, 9 Sep 2000
This review is from: The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS (Penguin Science) (Paperback)
This is not a book to be undertaken lightly. Definetly not the sort of thing to read on your two weeks in the sun. Its 50+ chapters need to be read slowly, studied and digested. Hooper's thesis is that the AIDS virus is essentially a human invention. It mutated from the monkey version of HIV (SIV) when monkey kidney tissue was used to make Oral Polio Vaccines in the 50's. These vaccines were extensively tested in central and west Africa, the current epicenter of HIV and the disease spread from there. This is a brilliantly researched piece of work, describing both the history of HIV, AID and OPV research and the authors own journey to the source of the river of AIDS. I have only one grumble and that is the length. It is not an easy read. Hooper would undoubtedly find a much wider audience with a slightly less detailed work. The general reader does not need to know the detail of every OPV trial that took place in the 50s and the core of this work would not be lost for the lack of such detail. Nonetheless, a very important, beautifully written piece of work that will surely find its way to the bookshelf of anyone interested in science or the world around us and man's influence on that world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Corruption Revealed, 17 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and AIDS (Penguin Science) (Paperback)
The research is persuasive. AIDS was introduced to Africa by whitey. A US doctor used chimp serum for his Polio vaccine in The Congo, and the drivers of the lorries carrying copper across Africa to Mombassa spread HIV across the continent. One third of the children in Kampala, the capitalcity of Uganda are now AIDS orphans. The responsiility was covered up in the usual manner.
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