A critique of the Montagnier evidence…. Article in Medical Hypotheses (2004)
“…Montagnier and his colleagues reported that electron microscopy of the “umbilical cord lymphocytes showed characteristic immature particles with dense crescent (Ctype) budding at the plasma membrane… This virus is a typical type-C RNA tumor virus”. However, in 1984 they reported HIV to be a type-D retrovirus  and later claimed that HIV is a lentivirus. These taxonomical differences imply that if HIV were a newly discovered mammal it could be either human, a gorilla or an orang-utan. Before the AIDS era it was known that retroviruslike particles are ubiquitous [37,38] including “in the majority, if not all, human placentas” . Since, as Gallo pointed out in 1976 they do not replicate, the majority of retrovirus-like particles are not retroviruses .
Retrovirus-like particles have been seen in many non-infected cell lines used for “HIV isolation” including cord blood lymphocytes . In the only electron microscopy study, either in vivo or in vitro in which suitable controls were used and in which extensive blind examination of controls and test material was performed, virus particles indistinguishable from “HIV” were found in 18/20 (90%) of AIDS as well as in 13/15 (88%) of non-AIDS related lymph node enlargements . In the Science 1983 paper Montagnier and his associates wrote: “That this new isolate was a retrovirus was further indicated by its density in a sucrose gradient, which was 1.16”. They claimed that the 1.16 g/ml band represented “purified, labelled virus”, but did not publish electron micrographs to prove this or that the particles seen in the culture banded at 1.16 g/ml and were present even in an impure form. In a 1997 interview Montagnier gave to the French journalist Djamel Tahi he said no electron micrographs of the 1.16 g/ml band, the “purified” virus, were published because even after “a Roman effort” they could not find particles with “the morphology typical of retroviruses” . Since: (a) the finding of retrovirus-like particles especially in cultures and under the conditions used by Montagnier and his associates is not unusual; (b) the particles published in the 1983 paper: (i) did not have the morphological characteristics presently attributed to lentiviruses (HIV), that is, “relatively homogenous diameter of about 110 nm, the dense cone-shaped core and the “lateral bodies”, and in fact they were classified as “typical type-C” particles; (ii) did not have the principle physical characteristic of retroviruses, that is, in sucrose density gradients they did not band at the density of 1.16 g/ml; (iii) were not proven infectious. (The finding of RT activity even in unlimited numbers of cultures cannot be considered proof for infectivity); (c) Montagnier et al. had no controls and the experiment was not blind; – it is difficult to accept the claim that the particles seen in the 1983 study were a unique human lentivirus HIV  or even retroviral. “When purified, labelled virus” was incubated with the patient’s serum Montagnier and his colleagues found three proteins in the 1.16 g/ml band – p80, p45 (now called p41) and p25 (now called p24) that reacted with antibodies present in the serum. They concluded that p25 (p24) was an HIV protein and the antibodies which reacted with it, HIV antibodies. However, (i) if such a conclusion can be drawn from this reaction then p41 and p80 should also be HIV proteins (not cellular proteins as they stated) and the antibodies which reacted with them should also be HIV antibodies; (ii) from an antibody-antigen reaction it is not possible to determine the origin even of one reactant, much less both. For example, even if proof existed that p24 was an HIV protein, because (a) AIDS patients and those at risk have a plethora of antibodies; (b) all antibodies including monoclonal antibodies cross-react ; it is not possible to claim that the patient’s antibodies which reacted with p24 were HIV antibodies. In the 1997 interview with Djamel Tahi Montagnier admitted the only way to prove a protein is viral is to purify the virus: “… analysis of the proteins of the virus demands mass production and purification. It is necessary to do that”. To further questioning he stated: “I repeat we did not purify” which means that they could not have proven p24 to be an HIV protein. To the contrary, the fact that in the “purified” virus they did not have particles with “the morphology typical of retroviruses. They were very different” – proves beyond reasonable doubt that p24 is not an HIV protein.