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Researchers in US dispute first case of AIDS

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6985.957 (Published 15 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:957

American scientists claim to have uncovered flaws in research published in the Lancer in 1990 that purported to prove the world's first case of AIDS and HIV infection. Using the powerful new tools of molecular biology, scientists from the New York University School of Medicine have concluded that there is now no evidence that a man from Manchester who died in 1959 of a mysterious AIDS-like illness was infected with HIV.

David Ho, director of the university's Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, and his colleague Tuofu Zhu have reanalysed tissue supplied to them by the authors of the paper in the Lancet and found that more than one patient was involved. Using the most sensitive technology, they also failed to find any HIV in tissue that was supposed to have come from the 1959 patient. Their results were published as scientific correspondence in …

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