Lack of HIV photographs.

It is hard to find a photograph of HIV. In an Albany presentation, Dr. Robert Gallo, a co-discoverer of HIV, showed a computer graphic to illustrate HIV. The Daily Telegraph in London also resorted to a computer graphic to depict HIV (without mentioning the fact).

There are standard scientific procedures for isolating, identifying and photographing a new retrovirus.

It took thirteen years before researchers tried to find and photograph HIV using those procedures.

The slide on the left shows what the result should be - uniform particles that meet the size and shape criteria for a retrovirus.

The slide on the right shows the result of the attempt to isolate HIV - a confusing mixture of stuff, mostly cellular debris.
Standard isolation picture - many uniform particles (the retrovirus), very few contaminating particles (arrows).

Result of attempt to isolate HIV - very few retrovirus-like particles (arrows), very many dissimilar contaminating particles.

In a similar published isolation effort by Bess, et al, the particles claimed to be retoviral were too large by a factor of 2.

Why has it proven so difficult to find HIV?

A presentation given by Dr. Valendar Turner to staff of the New York Assembly Health Committee includes an explanation of the difficulty in isolating and photographing HIV, using 24 slides with accompanying text explanation. It can also be obtained at the Perth Group web site. See under "Diagnosing HIV in mothers and infants as a PowerPoint presentation.

The Perth Group web site also includes many of their published scientific papers, which go into this issue and other AIDS-related matters in detail.