|Known for||AIDS denialism activities|
Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos (born in Greece) is the leader of a group of the Perth Group which has claimed since 1988 that HIV has never been isolated and therefore may not exist. Papadopulos-Eleopulos has an undergraduate degree in nuclear physics from the University of Bucharest and works as a medical physicist at Royal Perth Hospital in Australia. She has not been involved with research into AIDS or HIV at the hospital, and has been rejected as an expert witness on HIV/AIDS by a South Australia Supreme Court Justice reviewing an appeal on the basis of evidence given by her.
Views on HIV/AIDS
In the view of the Perth Group, consisting of Papadopulos-Eleopulos and a colleague, the scientific community has failed to prove:
- That HIV exists as a unique, exogenously acquired retrovirus.
- That HIV antibody tests are specific for HIV infection.
- That HIV causes acquired immune deficiency (destruction of T helper cells, known as AID) or that AID leads to the development of the clinical syndrome AIDS.
- That the HIV genome (RNA or DNA) originates in a unique, exogenously acquired infectious retroviral particle.
- That HIV/AIDS is infectious, either by blood, blood products or sexual intercourse.
- That a retrovirus HIV may be transmitted from mother to child or that this transmission may be inhibited with AZT or nevirapine.
Lack of academic credentials relevant to HIV
Papadopulos-Eleopulos does not work in HIV research or with AIDS patients but has been incorrectly represented as a doctor. John P. Moore, an AIDS scientist and authority on AIDS denialism, noted in a presentation at the XVI International AIDS Conference that some AIDS denialists refer to Papadopulos-Eleopulos as a doctor and claim that she has been a professor of medical physics at Royal Perth Hospital, a government hospital in Perth, Western Australia. Papadopulos-Eleopulos has no academic appointment and does not hold a doctorate; her highest academic degree is a Bachelor of Science in nuclear physics from the University of Bucharest. Her duties at the Royal Perth Hospital are to test people for sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation. The Royal Perth Hospital has stated that it does not share the views of Papadopulos-Eleopulos. According to the hospital's executive director, Philip Montgomery:
Royal Perth Hospital does not support The Perth Group's views on HIV, and group members have been instructed that they will not use any hospital resources for work related to their private research. Furthermore, the staff have also been instructed that their private research should not be linked in any way to Royal Perth Hospital.
Appearance at the appeal trial of Andre Parenzee
In late 2006 and early 2007, Papadopulos-Eleopulos and the other main Perth Group member, Valendar Turner, testified at the appeal for retrial of an HIV-positive man, Andre Chad Parenzee, who had been convicted on three counts of endangering life through having unprotected sex without informing his partners of his HIV status. Papadopulos-Eleopulos and Turner told the Supreme Court of South Australia that Parenzee should be acquitted because the existence of HIV had not been proven; HIV tests were unreliable; and there was no evidence for sexual transmission of HIV. Papadopulos-Eleopulos, when asked by a prosecutor if she would herself have unprotected sex with an HIV-positive person, replied, "Any time." Medical experts decried Papadopulos-Eleopulos' statements, with one expert witness calling them "insane", "outrageous" and "dangerous" for apparently encouraging unsafe sex.
In his ruling in April 2007, Justice John Sulan dismissed the testimony of Papadopulos-Eleopulos and Turner and rejected the application for a retrial. He said that the pair were not qualified to give expert opinions about the existence or nature of HIV and that, "the probative value of the evidence proposed to be called by the applicant is minimal." According to Justice Sulan:
One significant feature of the evidence of the applicant’s witnesses was that neither Papadopulos-Eleopulos nor Dr Turner claimed to have practical experience or qualifications in any of the particular scientific disciplines to which their evidence pertained.
- "Supreme Court of South Australia, R. v Parenzee - Reasons for Decision of The Honourable Justice Sulan". Supreme Court of South Australia. 2007-04-17. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- "About the Perth Group". The Perth Group. nd. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- "What the Perth Group has argued". The Perth Group. nd. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Fact Sheet: The Evidence that HIV Causes AIDS". National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- Delaney, M (2000). "HIV, AIDS, and the Distortion of Science". Focus 15 (6): 1–6. PMID 12180385.
- "The HIV/AIDS Connection". National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 2005-09-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- Pirani, C (2006-10-27). "Doubts on HIV's existence 'insane'". The Australian. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- "HIV Science and Responsible Journalism" (PDF). XVI International AIDS Conference. 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- Roberts, J (2007-02-01). "HIV experts line up to refute denier". The Australian. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- Roberts, J; Gosch, E (2007-01-31). "HIV sceptic backs unprotected sex". The Australian. Retrieved 2010-06-17.