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HIV Generation X Heralded by Luc Montagnier and Hans Gelderblom?

As we were reminded not long ago by Prof. Marco Ruggiero, virology is a blessedly rule-free science, and HIV has come to define and redefine this rulelessness as it gathers to itself every arcane power ever attributed to any virus of any class in the service of novel teleologies. In the following we will look at just two new HIV phenotypes that have grown out of what was until recently considered one of HIV’s waste products, unintegrated viral DNA.

Luc Montagnier redefined mainstream HIV/AIDS rethinking as well as retroviral infection with his remarks in the documentary House of Numbers that a good immune system can clear the body of (at least early) HIV infection. Perhaps the mainstream rethinkers’ fixation on sound bites and accessible media is the reason why equally remarkable comments made in serious publications have gone unnoticed. The passages below are taken from two of Montagnier’s latest papers, Electromagnetic Detection of HIV DNA in the Blood of AIDS Patients Treated with Antiretroviral Therapy and DNA Waves and Water .

We therefore will favor a third hypothesis. The antiretroviral therapy works efficiently to prevent reverse transcription of viral RNA into DNA and therefore blocks any productive infection of susceptible cells. However, it will not prevent DNA-DNA replication in a non-integrated state. In other words, we hypothesize that the ART treatment will push the virus towards an alternate way of replication, probably minor and depending on a cellular polymerase, but sufficient to maintain the viral genetic information as unintegrated viral DNA and able to resume the normal viral cycle if ART is interrupted for any reason (…) The cells and tissues in which this replication occurs remain to be identified.

(…) it is suggested that the HIV DNA fragments and their nanostructures present in the blood may not originate from cell lysis but, on the contrary, represent pieces of definite size able to recombine in the appropriate recipient cells (lymphocytes) to form whole genomic DNA and finally regenerate infectious virus.

If we can target by specific inhibitors this episomal replication without damaging the cellular processes, we might achieve complete elimination of the HIV reservoir and therefore eradication of HIV infection.

In these passages from Montagnier we learn that HIV can adopt an “alternate” mode in which it:

  • has no need of its specific reverse transcriptase, the original defining characteristic of retroviruses; their raison d’etre as an explanatory hypothesis, as it were.
  • can replicate in “cells and tissues” that “remain to be identified”.
  • can infect without the need to ever become an infectious particle.

Furthermore, and perhaps most extraordinarily, we are given to understand that were it not for this ability of the HI-virus to replicate without ever becoming a virus, antiretrovirals would suffice to eradicate HIV infection. In their commentary to a Montagnier interview in Nexus magazine, the Perth Group state:

According to all the HIV experts, once infected with a retrovirus, always infected. This is because the retroviral RNA is reverse transcribed into DNA which is then incorporated into the host genome (DNA). Once in the host DNA it cannot be removed by any means. This is why HIV infection is incurable. As retrovirologist Harold Varmus said in 1998, “Trying to rid the body of a virus whose genome is incorporated into the host genome may be impossible”. So Montagnier has to explain how “general health measures”, which we assume equate to clean water, sanitation, a good diet and medical services, are able to excise approximately 9 thousand specific bases from the human genome while managing to leave all the rest intact.

We would like to repeat  that request only exchanging “general health measures” for “specific inhibitors”.

Montagnier hypothesises that ART treatment has pushed HIV to this alternate existence, but perhaps it is rather the bottomless mysteries of HIV that have pushed its Nobel-recognised inventor to propose a new distinct HIV phenotype. And he is far from the only one. In 2008, a couple of years earlier than the Montagnier paper, Gelderblom et al. had already announced that Viral complementation allows HIV replication without integration. The stage is set elegantly:

Background: The integration of HIV-1 DNA into cellular chromatin is required for high levels of viral gene expression and for the production of new virions. However, the majority of HIV-1 DNA remains unintegrated and is generally considered a replicative dead-end.

But HIV-ologists, and consequently their subject-matter, are not fond of dead ends, so Gelderblom et al. set out to demonstrate experimentally the purposefulness of unintegrated HIV DNA (uDNA):

Most cells which contained only uDNA displayed no detected expression from fluorescent reporter genes inserted into early (Rev-independent) and late (Rev-dependent) locations in the HIV-1 genome. Coinfection with an integrated provirus resulted in a several fold increase in the number of cells displaying uDNA early gene expression and efficiently drove uDNA into late gene expression. We found that coinfection generates virions which package and deliver uDNA-derived genomes into cells; in this way uDNA completes its replication cycle by viral complementation. uDNA-derived genomes undergo recombination with the integrated provirus-derived genomes during second round infection.

Conclusion: This novel mode of retroviral replication allows survival of viruses which would otherwise be lost because of a failure to integrate, amplifies the effective amount of cellular coinfection, increases the replicating HIV-1 gene pool, and enhances the opportunity for diversification through errors of polymerization and recombination.

Gelderblom et al. account for unintegrated intracellular HIV DNA in teleological terms by suggesting a novel method of HIV replication, a novel HIV power and a novel phenotype. “Dead-end” HIV DNA is sublimated, transformed into virions and finally reunified at a higher level of fitness for survival with its already integrated kin.

Gelderblom’s uDNA redemption tale stops short, barely, at concluding that HIV does not need to integrate at all (genomic integration being another defining characteristic of retroviruses) to replicate. But since an external factor, such as previous  integration of another HI-virus in the same cell, is sufficient to complete the last step, late gene expression, the door has been opened to further possibilities, including integration-free HIV replication.

Enter Montagnier, whose errand is extracellular as opposed to intracellular unintegrated HIV DNA. The mystery Montagnier seeks to solve is why one marker of productive infection, the “viral load” (HIV RNA), indicates that HIV activity has all but ceased, while another marker, circulating HIV DNA, is still present and indicates ongoing activity. The currently popular explanations of how HIV can continue to stress the immune system and deplete CD4+ cells after it has been effectively put to chromatin sleep usually involve “hidden reservoirs” of HIV where replication can continue to some extent. Circulating viral RNA picked up by the viral load tests seems to confirm this hypothesis,  but if the drugs make the viral RNA disappear, why not the circulating DNA? Montagnier’s ingenious answer is that HIV transforms from a retrovirus into an infectious (or rather “transfectious”) DNA being, yet another HIV phenotype.

The idea of infectious DNA carrying all essential viral information is not new, however, and it begs the question why a traditional virus is needed at all. This question has even occurred to virologists, and the answer is that a properly packaged virion is many times more infectious than naked DNA, thus selected for by evolution. Montagnier dutifully includes a version of this virion saver by suggesting that his alternate replication mode is “probably minor”.

But the idea that this alternate mode is what saves the virus from eradication by ARVs is anything but minor. Viral DNA programmed to seek out “unidentified cells and tissues”, borrow their polymerases to replicate as  “pieces of a definite size” that can be released and travel intercellularly, while dodging the immune system as well as the drugs, infect and recombine in “appropriate target cells”,  finally to regenerate functional virions is hardly what one would call an accidental mechanism in teleological terms. It is a complete and autonomous para-viral operation that could rekindle HIV infection like a phoenix rising from the ashes even after the last virion and the last integrated provirus  have been eradicated. It is thus quite possible that the evolution of HIV science at some point in the not so distant future will select for unintegrated viral DNA over virions as the dominant phenotype of HIV generation X.


7 Responses to “HIV Generation X Heralded by Luc Montagnier and Hans Gelderblom?”

  1. Dear Claus. Thank you. You are being inspiring.

    Actually, I think when Prof. Duesberg in his very heavy book “Inventing the AIDS Virus” recalled a whole lot of other “mistakes” orthodox medicine and their devoted propagandists have made – like for example pellagra, beriberi, scurvy, SMON, and so on – he seemed a bit short-sighted. Reading now in your fine piece that “Gelderblom et al. had already announced that Viral complementation allows HIV replication without integration” remembered me of a role model much more applicable for what we’re now experiencing with “HIV”.

    Sometimes I was asking myself what the offspring of the offspring of our offspring might think, when their historians in the year 2500 discovered, that 500 years ago almost all people on earth believed in a demon they called “HIV”.

    In trying to answer this question I beamed myself back in time and 500 years ago (1487) I found a just published book called “Malleus Malleficarum” (“The Hammer of Witches”), written by a German named Heinrich Kramer. Wikipedia explains that the purpose of this book was to “attempt to systematically refute arguments claiming that witchcraft does not exist, discredit those who expressed skepticism about its reality, to claim that witches were more often women than men, and to educate magistrates on the procedures that could find them out and convict them.”

    Refuting arguments claiming that “HIV” does not exist is now the most important task of the orthodox AIDS warriors.

    To discredit those who express skepticism about its reality is their second most important task.

    To claim that “HIV” afflicts men more often than women and Blacks more often than whites, is the modern variation of the ancient claim “that witches were more often women than men”.

    Today doctors are being educated on the procedures that could find out “HIV-positives” and medicate them.

    As you might expect, also Gelderblom’s claim “that Viral complementation allows HIV replication without integration” has it’s predecessor in that 500 years ago conception has been possible without “fornication”. “Cambions” have once been “the offspring of the union between a human male and a succubus” – they have been still births and showed “no sign of life outside of being alive, meaning that the child has, for example, no pulse and no breath.”

    These cambions had a latency period of about seven years: “This continues until the child is about seven years old, where it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate one from a human.”

    With all the knowledge we have accumulated upon our heads during the past 500 years, we know now that “incubi” and “succubi” are harmless and that “cambions” don’t exist.

    We don’t need to resort to The Remedies prescribed by the Holy Church against Incubus and Succubus Devils – one of them being the excommunication:

    “The fifth method, that of excommunication, which is perhaps the same as exorcism …”

  2. Eradication.

    I can’t help it, I like this word. The eradication of objectionable beings seems to be one of the irresistible needs of mankind. It only depends on the zeitgeist, which one of all the zillions of possible beings functions as the politically correct target to satisfy this need.

    Today it’s “HIV”, some decades ago it was the Jews, before them and for some centuries it was the gays, and before them it was the “witches”. The remedies-page I linked to in my previous comment tells us:

    In the foregoing chapters on the First Question we have treated of the methods of bewitching men, animals and the fruits of the earth, and especially of the behaviour of witches in their own persons; how they seduce young girls in order to increase their numbers; what is their method of profession and of offering homage; how they offer to devils their own children and the children of others; and how they are transported from place to place. Now I say that there is no remedy for such practises, unless witches be entirely eradicated by the judges …

    In the foregoing decades wie have treated of the methods of spreading “HIV” to homosexual men, to bisexual and heterosexual men, to women and their children; we have treated of the behaviour of gays and Blacks in their own persons and towards each other; how they seduce young girls and boys to increase the number of people enjoying sex; what is their method of profession and of offering homage; how they offer to “HIV” their own children and the children of others; and how “HIV” is transported from place to place. Now I say that there is no remedy for “HIV disease”, unless “HIV” be entirely eradicated by doctors and the like.

  3. Oh, by the way, if “HIV” “can replicate” in “cells and tissues” that “remain to be identified”, how do we know that there are such kind of “cells and tissues” at all?

    “… can infect without the need to ever become an infectious particle”.

    Non-infectious particles are able to infect. This is modern logic, I presume. Or the ancient one from 500 years ago. Well, if a non-infectious particle is able to infect, why is it called a non-infectious particle “without the need to ever become an infectious particle”? Shouldn’t particles which are able to infect rather be called infectious particles? Where is the difference between infectious particles and non-infectious particles which “can infect without the need to ever become an infectious particle”?

    • Administrator says:


      Montagnier is not terribly clear. Some activity is taking place, and it has to take place somewhere, hence yet to be identified cells and tissues (after all Montagnier doesn’t claim there is a whole lot of specific experimental research behind his new hypothesis).

      As for the (non-)infectious particle, it seems no particle is needed. It is simply naked pieces of DNA that do the infection. It is a trick usually attributed to other classes of viruses, but as I state in the introduction, there seems to be no trick attributed to any virus that HIV cannot duplicate – and improve on.

  4. Gene Semon says:

    Brilliant review Claus, and you support the opening statement of your analysis:

    “(V)irology is a blessedly rule-free science, and HIV has come to define and redefine this rulelessness as it gathers to itself every arcane power ever attributed to any virus of any class in the service of novel teleologies.”

    I have a few preliminary comments.

    The HIV experts accuse the Perth Group of cherry-picking, but this Gelderblom/Montagnier collaboration takes the cake. It is a sign of desperation in facing PG’s challenge quoted above

    The fundamental error of using an evolutionary model that only applies to higher life forms, “teleological virus-think” is now in the open. They have, in effect, defined “HIV” out of existence as an “autonomous agent”, capable of completing at least one thermodynamic work cycle.

    So it now appears we’re talking about some kind of “kill squad” with scattered individuals, the DNA in the bloodstream somehow knowing that it’s part of this kill squad. Oh yes, these naked DNA individuals just know that their destination is the nucleus because the whole ensemble has somehow “evolved” beyond the stage before the ARV treatment. Never mind the innate defenses in cell cytoplasm that shred foreign nucleic acids and prevent the entry of the last part of the commando team.

    A cellular organism can evolve as a pathogen against drug treatments, not the mess offered to the scientific world by Gelderblom and Montagnier.

    A technical note: REV dependent transcription (late gene transcription) means the HIV-1 messenger RNA is joined together as a complete genomic molecule as it exits the nucleus.

    • Administrator says:


      I guess it’s debatable whether Gelderblom is promoting a new teleologi. Does uDNA serve a function over and above what it would have if it were integrated right away?

      I interpret it as the door at least being opened to such a suggestion. One also has to marvel at a system centering so strongly on the cell nucleus and what takes place there, yet is strangely decentralised, where integrated viral DNA is able to act on uDNA in such an auspicious way as to secure its co-equal autonomy.

      The thought is not far that uDNA increases the HIV-1 gene pool to an even greater extent than if it had all been integrated. If that is so, Gelderblom’s story has not only opened the door but crossed the threshold to teleologi.

      Note: Just because a hypothesis can be stated in teleological terms it doesn’t mean it’s flawed. Such language could easily grow out of “neutral” empirical observation. But with HIV we detect a prior expectation that every phenomenon associated with it, real or imagined, is part of an unfolding master plan that anticipated our every move from the beginning.

      Montagnier takes this awe of HIV to the next level, where HIV has anticipated even ARVs on several levels. One cannot help but think of the medieval alchemists, who projected “the cosmic and spiritual drama” onto the matter with which they were working experimentally, but that’s another story.

      • Gene Semon says:


        There are reasonable things we can extract from Gelderblom’s tangle and simplify, hopefully with the requisite clarity and lay language. (This post is somewhat repetitive to make it easier on the reader.)

        (It’s necessary to remember that below only applies in cell cultures.)

        You point out Gelderblom’s conclusion that “integrated viral DNA is able to act on uDNA in such an auspicious way as to secure its co-equal autonomy.” This is actually not unreasonable if rev independent transcription is induced from the proviral form.

        That is, it’s easier for small pieces of the “HIV genome” to come from the chromosomal locations than for the complete genome – emerging full length RNA transcripts – to be “popping out of chromosomes”, as Dr Gallo would put it.

        Also we can consider the limiting case.

        If it were all to be uDNA winding up in the nucleus, say in the documented-by-experiment circular DNA form, then one could argue for the greater availability of rev-dependent RNA transcripts, i.e. a more efficient process of infection.

        In terms of nuclear organization, here are preliminary comments.

        The circular DNA episomal form (EF) would be less likely to be transcriptionally silenced compared to the proviral form, as the HIV experts are well aware. In that sense, EF is more “autonomous” because the DNA would be more “efficient” in kinetic terms. This is due to barriers considering proviral DNA plus RNA polymerase; their connecting is greatly impeded when “HIV DNA” is locked up in chromatin.

        As far as teleology and why, say, evolutionary theory is or is not “teleological”, I’d love to hear what Marco has to say.

        In either event, there’s no agency* in the first place, considering an authentic species phenotype emerging from “purified HIV DNA” (the genotype) in nature.

        So how can it evolve according to Darwin’s law that applies to real species?

        *hence Professor Montagnier’s desperate appeal to the “next level” as you so eloquently put it.

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