Hardcover: 1070 pages
Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); 1 edition (September 1999)
Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #450,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #60 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > AIDS #84 in Books > Medical Books > Medicine > Internal Medicine > Pathology > Diseases > AIDS & HIV #2317 in Books > Science & Math > History & Philosophy
The title of this book refers to the Congo River of Africa. This great river became famous in Western minds in the 1800s with the journeys of Dr. Livingstone. Later, it would be the setting of The Heart of Darkness. Doctors and scientists in the heart of darkness indeed as The River explains in its long, well-documented, exhaustive tale of secretive, unregulated medical research. This book's author interviews hundreds of individuals involved in this process, goes over countless documents, and from it, pieces together the following story.After WWII there was a race to find a vaccine for polio that could be administered orally. Numerous groups of scientists from around the world took part in this race; the prize being fame, fortune, and patents galore. In public, these teams agreed to perform all their research in Western countries, document everything, and only conduct tests on adults who had signed written consent forms. In reality, many of these teams flocked to the Africa Congo to perform large-scale tests on unwitting and unknowing human populations, often without oversight by the press or medical institutions. These groups would inject various African primates with polio, extract serum from the infected primates, and using this serum to make experimental vaccines which would then be given to the local human populations.This book contends that by this process, HIV was accidentally transmitted from certain monkeys into humans. The author provides numerous pieces of evidence in proof of this theory. First, the very same villages in the Congo where HIV was first discovered also happened to be the very same villages in which the polio tests were performed. Second, HIV was diagnosed in these villages 10 - 20 years after the polio tests were performed.
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