In early April 2008 we learnt that Montagnier had published a new book entitled "Les Combats de la vie".1    Although we have not yet obtained or read this book we have no reason to question the veracity of Etienne de Harven's brief email summary, including the following:


"Then, on an extensive review on oxidative stress, with repeated indications of its likely causal role in AIDS.  I have heard Montagnier speaking on that during his presentation at the European Parliament, Brussels, Dec 2003, during which he never made the slightest reference to Eleni Papadopulos, who, unless one of you can prove to me wrong (?), was the first one to hypothesise a possible link between AIDS and oxidative stress, in 1988.  I went in to chat with Montagnier, when the official part of the debate was over, and I told him how surprised I was that he had strictly ignored referring to Eleni's early paper!  Back home, in February 2004, I wrote a long letter to him including Eleni's reference...

Throughout that part, he gives a strong impression of having a broad paternity on the oxidative stress hypothesis...(I remember so well my former chief, Emmanuel Farber, speaking about free radicals 40 years ago...(!)


When we read Montagnier's book we will have something more to say about it.  For the moment some of you may like to know something about the history of the oxidative theory relating to our long time but one-way communications with Montagnier.


A Medline search (OXIDATION AND (AIDS OR HIV)) shows the first ever published paper on the subject was published in 1988 by Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos in Medical Hypotheses.2  This paper is entitled "Reappraisal of AIDS: Is the oxidation induced by the risk factors the primary cause?"  Read HERE The theory that the cause of AIDS is oxidation induced by the agents to which the risk groups are exposed was conceived from the time when AIDS first became apparent.  The first draft was written between 1983 and 1984.  The paper eventually published in Medical Hypotheses was first sent to Nature at the beginning in 1986 where it was twice rejected.  Subsequently the paper was submitted to Medical Hypotheses where it was rejected once and then finally published in that Journal in 1988.


The main points of the oxidative theory of AIDS, as stated in this paper, are:

1.  Well documented evidence is presented that patients in the AIDS risk groups are exposed to strong oxidising agents.

2.  There is no evidence that in AIDS patients the T4 cells are destroyed by “HIV” or any other agent.

3.  There is no evidence for “HIV” isolation/purification, that is, for its existence.

4.  The phenomena which are said to prove infection of AIDS patients with a unique retrovirus are non-specific and are the result of the oxidising agents to which the cultures and the patients belonging to the AIDS risk groups are exposed.  (For more details including the predictions of this theory, see the original paper and also an article published in Continuum in 1998 “Looking back on the oxidative stress theory of AIDS”.3  Read HERE

5.  The theory is put forward that the cause of the reported decline in T4 cells (immune deficiency) and the clinical syndrome is the oxidising agents to which the patients are exposed.


In a letter published in the International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics in 1989 “An alternative explanation for the radiosensitization of AIDS patients”,4 evidence is presented on the role oxidising agents play in the causation of Kaposi's sarcoma and the radiosensitisation of AIDS patients.  Read HERE.  The following combination therapy was proposed for the treatment of KS in AIDS patients:


1.  Cessation of nitrites intake and anally deposited sperm.  The presently observed longer survival of AIDS patients with KS may be due to change in lifestyle.

2.  Localized radiotherapy or hyperthermia.

3.  Administration of antioxidants and in particular sulphydryl compounds which are known to correct immune deficiencies, to inhibit toxic effects induced by radiation in normal tissue thus permitting a more radical local irradiation and also to augment the effects of hyperthermia.


In 1991 one of us published a paper entitled "Reducing agents in AIDS why are we waiting?"5  Read HERE  where the use of antioxidants in particular acetylcysteine and glutathione are advocated for the prevention and treatment of AIDS.


In late 1991 all the publications cited above as well as a paper entitled "A mitotic theory"6 written by EPE (that describes her redox theory of cellular functioning in general and her theory of cancer in particular), were sent to Luc Montagnier.  Read the paper HERE or HERE for a user friendly commentary.  Montagnier responded with the following letter (which can also be read HERE).






 Mongagnier never returned.


In 1991 we published a letter in Lancet where we questioned Eck, Droge et al's claim that SIV ("HIV") causes oxidation.7  Read HERE


In 1990 the journal Research in Immunology, an Institute Pasteur publication, opened its "columns to Dr P. Duesberg and Dr L. Montagnier, who have agreed to discuss the matter of whether HIV is a causative agent of AIDS" and "invited other contributions on this topic".  In our contribution, "Oxidative stress HIV and AIDS", HERE  we wrote, "As long ago as 1983, one of us (E.P.-E) proposed oxidative mechanisms are of critical significance in the genesis of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).  A prediction of this hypothesis was that the mechanisms responsible for AIDS could be reversed by the administration of reducing agents, especially those containing sulphydryl groups (SH groups).  The discovery of HIV resulted in a broadening of this hypothesis in that it considered oxidative stress as a principal mechanism in both the development of AIDS and expression of HIV".  Montagnier did not respond to Peter Duesberg or the Perth Group.


Nine years after the publication of the oxidative theory, six years after he received our papers and five after our Research in Immunology publication, Montagnier and his colleagues published a paper in which they wrote "In AIDS pathogenesis, oxidative stress is proposed as a metabolic alteration that favours disease progression by inducing both viral replication and apoptotic death...Indeed, the evidence that oxidative stress induces, while antioxidants inhibit, HIV replication and apoptosis suggests the use of these molecules as an antiretroviral therapy to reduce cell death in AIDS patients" (italics ours).8 Read HERE


When we read Montagnier's book "Virus", published in 2000,9 we published a letter in Medical Hypotheses entitled "Would Montagnier please clarify whether HIV or oxidation by the risk factors is the primary cause of AIDS?".10  HERE  Montagnier never responded.







1.         Montagnier L: Les Combats de la vie. Paris, 2008.

2.       Papadopulos-Eleopulos E: Reappraisal of AIDS: Is the oxidation caused by the risk factors the primary cause? Med Hypotheses 1988, 25:151-162

3.         Papadopulos-Eleopulos E: Looking back on the oxidative stress theory of  AIDS. Continuum 1998, 5:30-35.

4.         Papadopulos-Eleopulos E, Hedland-Thomas B, Causer DA, Dufty AP: An alternative explanation for the radiosensitization of AIDS patients. Internat J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 1989, 17:695-697.

5.         Turner VF: Reducing agents and AIDS--Why are we waiting? Med J Aust 1990, 153:502.

6.         Papadopulos-Eleopulos E: A Mitotic Theory. J Theor Biol 1982, 96:741-758

7.         Papadopulos-Eleopulos E, Hedland-Thomas B, Causer DA, Turner VF, Papadimitriou JM: Changes in thiols and glutamate as consequence of simian immunodeficiency virus infection. Lancet 1991, 338:1013-1014.

8.         Piedimonte G, Guetard D, Magnani M, Corsi D, Picerno I, Spataro P, Kramer L, Montroni M, Silvestri G, Torres Roca JF, Montagnier L: Oxidative protein damage and degradation in lymphocytes from patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. J Infect Dis 1997, 176:655-664.

9.         Montagnier L: Virus. .New York, WW Norton & Company Inc, 2000.

10.       Papadopulos-Eleopulos E, Page BA, Causer D, Turner VF, Papadimitriou JM, Alfonso H: Would Montagnier please clarify whether HIV or oxidation by the risk factors is the primary cause of AIDS? Med Hypotheses 2006, 67:666-668.